PACMA sues Spanish government over attitude to children and bullfighting

by Lorraine Williamson
children bullfighting

Spanish animal rights party PACMA has submitted a report to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child suing Spain because it believes the government does not protect children from bullfighting. 

The report states that the government has “wilfully ignored” the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. And has, therefore, “continuously and repeatedly failed to comply” with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1990. 

 In 2018, the Committee on the Rights of the Child counted bullfighting among its ‘main concerns regarding violence against children’. PACMA points out that Spain will be reassessed by the committee in 2023. For this reason, the party has now submitted the report to the UN.  

Attending bullfights 

In the report, PACMA appoints that only in the Balearic Islands is attendance at bullfights banned for minors. In Galicia, it is forbidden for minors under 12 years old, and in the rest of the municipalities any child, boy or girl, may attend bullfights. 

Also read: Bullfighting on TV not recommended for children under 12

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Participation in bullfights 

When it comes to their participation in bullfights, PACMA mentions that only in Cantabria is the participation of minors prohibited. In the rest of the boroughs, children can participate from the age of 16, or even as young as 14. 


For admission to bullfighting schools, Andalucia, Aragon and the Basque Country set a minimum age of 10 and 12, respectively. However, in the rest of the communities, there is no minimum age to be taught the ‘art’ of killing. Moreover, minors as young as 14 can take part in practical lessons, in which weapons are used. 

Five years gone by 

‘Five years have passed since the Committee warned Spain to protect minors from the violence of bullfighting,’ PACMA said. Moreover, the party argues, not only is bullfighting not banned, but ‘these practices are increasingly encouraged’. This is done by public institutions and governments, with activities such as invitations to schools, children’s bullfights, children’s bullfighting camps in which municipal, provincial and regional governments cooperate by providing facilities, granting subsidies or organising them directly’, which PACMA describes as ‘unacceptable’. 

Also read: In Madrid, thousands protest bullfighting


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