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Animal abuse ‘linked’ to harmful effects on children
 

Recommendations made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Many years of research have shown that children can be seriously affected by

witnessing violent animal abuse. Effects include a progressive erosion of empathy & a normalization of violence which has been shown to potentially develop into causing violence against people & property.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has acknowledged these effects & has made recommendations that children should not be exposed to violent animal abuse.

The Committee has called on seven nations to prevent children from attending or

participating in bullfighting.Also the Committee has called for an ‘elimination of

societal violence against animals’ when addressing violent homeless animal

management programs

Children have a natural empathy with other sentient

beings. Experiencing violence can erode this empathy

& replace it with a normalization of violence

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Click on this image to enter the world of children with animals

Implicit in these recommendations to different nations is that children are affected by

all forms of violent animal abuse because of a child’s empathetic connection with
another sentient being…independent of species. Although animal abuse takes place in
many nations, in diverse cultures & societies, there is one commonality…its effects on
children… globally.

Here are the recommendations made by the UN Committee :-

The Committee recommends that the State party set the minimum age for participation

in and assisting at bullfighting and bull-running events, including in bullfighting schools,

at 18 years, without exception, and raise awareness among State officials, the media

and the general population about the negative effects on children, including as

spectators, of the violence associated with bullfighting and bull-running.

CRC/C/PRT/CO/5-6 Portugal

The physical and mental well-being of children involved in training for bullfighting, and

performances associated with it, as well as the mental and emotional well-being of

child spectators who are exposed to the violence of bullfighting; CRC/C/COL/CO/4-5

Columbia

The physical and mental well-being of children involved in training for bullfighting, and

performances associated with it, as well as the mental and emotional wellbeing of child

spectators who are exposed to the violence of bullfighting.CRC/MEX/CO/C/4-5 Mexico

Prohibit the participation of children in bullfighting training and associated

performances as a worst form of child labour, ensure the protection of child spectators

and raise awareness of the physical and mental violence associated with bullfighting

and its impact on children. CRC/C/PER/CO/4-5 Peru

Increase efforts to change violent traditions and practices that negatively affect the

well-being of children, including by prohibiting children’s access to bullfighting and

associated performances. CRC/C/FRA/CO/5 France

The Committee recommends that the age limit for watching and participating in

bullfighting be raised from 16 to 18 years and made statutory.

CRC/C/ECU/CO/5-6 Ecuador

In order to prevent the harmful effects of bullfighting on children, the Committee

recommends that the State party prohibit the participation of children under 18 years

of age as bullfighters and as spectators in bullfighting events.

CRC/C/ESP/CO/5-6 Spain

Recalling its General Comment No. 14 (2013) on the right of the child to have his or

her best interests taken as a primary consideration and its previous recommendations,

the Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Ensure that the principle of the

best interests of the child is consistently applied in all administrative and judicial

proceedings, as well as in policies, programmes and projects that are relevant to, and

have an impact on, children; (b) Finalize the procedure, with a clear set of criteria, to

provide guidance to all relevant persons in authority for determining the best interests

of the child in every area and for giving it due weight as a primary consideration; (c)

Evaluate and eliminate, on the basis of the procedure and criteria described above,

practices, policies and services that may not be in the best interests of the child,

including those relating to societal violence against animals. CRC/C/TUN/CO/4-6

Tunisia

Implicit in this recognition by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that children can be 'harmfully affected' by experiencing violence against sentient animals,  is the need to ensure compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by protecting children from all forms of violence.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child General Comment 13 ‘The Right of the Child to Freedom from all forms of Violence’ provides this opportunity.

 

A UN General Comment gives global guidance & clarification of articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

https://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/CRC.C.GC.13_en.pdf 

 

 Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states the following:

“1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. 

UN General Comment 13 states :

Legal analysis of article 19, paragraph 1 

1. “… all forms of ...” No exceptions. The Committee has consistently maintained the position that all forms of violence against children, however light, are unacceptable. “All forms of physical or mental violence” does not leave room for any level of legalized violence against children. Frequency, severity of harm and intent to harm are not prerequisites for the definitions of violence. States parties may refer to such factors in intervention strategies in order to allow proportional responses in the best interests of the child, but definitions must in no way erode the child’s absolute right to human dignity and physical and psychological integrity by describing some forms of violence as legally and/or socially acceptable. 

3. “shall take …” 37. “Shall take” is a term which leaves no leeway for the discretion of States parties. Accordingly, States parties are under strict obligation to undertake “all appropriate measures” to fully implement this right for all children 

We believe that implicit in UNCRC recommendations about children harmfully affected by exposure to violence against different species of animals, is recognition of a child's empathetic connection with the sentience of an animal. This places 'societal violence against animals' within  UN General Comment 13 which defines :- 

 Exposure to 'all forms of violence' with 'no exceptions' and 'States Parties are under strict obligation to undertake all apropriate measures to fully implement this right for all children'

 

We will also call upon UNICEF, UNSDP & child protection organisations to heed the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to support programs which bring a cessation of

violence against animals.

We invite inclusion of such violence against animals to be included in Goal 15 of the UN 2030 Agenda 70/1 for Sustainable Development where it was agreed by all UN

Members that ‘we envisage a world where humanity lives in harmony with nature and where wildlife & other living species are protected’.

Protect the Animal to Save the Child

Protect the Child to Save the Animal !