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Social rights campaigners to reform disability law to ban ‘firefighters’

The Ministry of Social Rights has announced that it will implement the Disability Act “in the coming weeks” to, among other things, ban “comic bullfighting”. This practice, which is popular as bull firemanconsists of a gang consisting of a “younger” bull (dwarf) and an “older” bullfighter – defined by a collective agreement – who deal Beef Square. They are usually disguised and the representation has a humorous intent.

Various organizations, such as the United Nations, the State Attorney’s Office, and Congress, have denounced these events as humiliating to people with achondroplasia and have asked the government to eliminate them. The ADEE Association (Dwarfs with Achondroplasia and Other Skeletal Dysplasias) claims these are “actions based on ridicule, humiliation, humiliation and laughter caused by the disability of its constituents,” in the words of its president, Felipe Orviz. Five performances were held in Spain last year.

Controversy surrounding these events began a long time ago, and the social right had already asked the Ministry of Culture to ban the practice, but it has been rekindled in recent days as a result of the renewal of the national bullfighting agreement. The Ministry of Labor and the trade unions this month registered the text, which, like its predecessors, contains the figure of comic bulls and how it should work. Labor explains that its powers over agreements are limited to “formal control of said agreements”. That is, they follow the law. The regulations, ministry sources added, depend on other portfolios. In this case, internal affairs.

A “younger” bull and an “older” bull

He says VI National Bullfighting Agreement, Article 9, Paragraph 1: “The comedy group will be composed of: a) crew leader; b) fighting cattle “senior” for fighting. I understand a “senior” torero, for these purposes, to be one who has sufficient physical ability to fight; c) At least five “small” bullfighters, if the show includes comic bulls of this type. For these purposes, ‘small’ bullfighters are those who, because of their physical build, do not qualify for the front section.” Signed on September 2, 2022.

Renewal of the agreement for ADEE refers to the “political act of violating the human rights and dignity of dwarf people” to endorse the practice of “comic bullfighting”. This organization said it intends to denounce the agreement before the United Nations, the European Union, the General Directorate of Disabilities and the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as stated in the statement.

“To access the professional category of comic bulls, you need to be a ‘small bull’, that is, to have a very specific disability, achondroplasia-dwarfism, as the only professional and artistic requirement,” explains Felipe. Orviz, lawyer and president of ADEE.

“The agreement contradicts the report of the UN Human Rights Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, it contradicts the resolution of the Congress. [apoyada por todos los grupos] Against this practice and against the prosecutor’s office, which recommended the government to change the agreement so that it fits the UN convention,” Orviz lists.

All these reports, explains the lawyer, recall that these events define the comic bullfight as “a humorous or humorous fight of goods under the conditions provided for in these rules” (Article 25 of the Royal Decree 145/1996 regulating bullfighting shows). This definition implies, in the words of the prosecution, that “it is a specific fight imbued with a burlesque connotation, which highlights it and distinguishes it from the rest.” The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommends that Spain in its March 2019 report promote “the recognition of their rights. [de las personas con discapacidad] Recognition and respect of their rights.

Against the UN, Congress and the Prosecutor’s Office

However, this issue does not cause unanimity among the victims. Some groups of these professionals have in other cases denied the claims of these shows, ADEE protests and fear of their way of life. Orviz explains that the association has signed an agreement with ONCE, in which it accepts a “retraining, retraining and recruitment commitment”. “We have made a commitment to ensure that the people who are dedicated to this have a dignified exit without their situation being ridiculed and humiliated,” he says.

The case is hampered by several ministries, from different parties and with different powers and positions. The Ministry of Social Welfare, which governs UP, sent a letter almost two years ago to the Ministry of Culture, the PSOE, and which has some authority over bullfighting, to ban the practice of comic bulls. Culture said he agrees with the idea, but it also depends on the topics. Twenty months later, everything is still the same.

Labour, noted by ADEE, points out that it is not its responsibility to change collective agreements as long as they are legal. “Regarding the registration of agreements signed by trade unions and employers in the sector, the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy is exclusively responsible for the registration of these agreements. In no case is the responsibility of this ministry to regulate bull fights in general and comedy shows in particular, which is provided for by the relevant regulations,” the ministry explains. It also adds that “we have called on the social partners to re-open the negotiation commission to avoid any kind of discrimination”.

In 2021, 189 people were registered as “comic bullfighters” in Spain. As reflected in the statistics of bullfights of the Ministry of Culture, the profession has grown slightly: over the past five years, they have grown from 166 in 2017 to 189 registered today. They are 1.8% of bullfighting professionals. Shows are going in the opposite direction: last year there were only five, while in 2017 there were 11, twice as many. This means that 0.6% of 824 holidays A related bullfight that took place in 2021 was the “comic bullfight”, reflecting the same source and taking place in Andalucia, Castilla y León, Castilla La Mancha and Extremadura (two events).

Source: El Diario





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