Monday, August 15

The UN warns: Spanish children are not protected “from abusive parents”

Experts from the HIM-HER-IT They have warned this Thursday that the Spanish judicial system is not protecting minors from “abusive parents and calls on the government to “do more” to protect these children from domestic violence and sexual abuse, ensuring that its courts “overcome prejudice against women” and “apply a gender-sensitive and child-centered approach.”

These people are part of what is known as Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, which, according to the United Nations, is “the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system.”

This council has warned that, in Spain, children are exposed to violence and sexual abuse by a judicial system that “does not protect them from abusive parents.”

“Even where there is a history of domestic violence or evidence of abuse, court decisions often favor male fathers, including those where there is reasonable cause to suspect that they abuse children and their mothers,” the experts point out.

Contact with an aggressive parent

As reported by the UN through a statement, the experts have shown especially concerned about the case of Diana García M., who recently lost custody in the first instance of his 6-year-old daughter after being accused of disrupting the relationship between the girl and her father. This, experts say, despite a history of domestic violence that suggests he had been sexually abusing his daughter for years.

“Despite clear guidance to the contrary in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the courts continue to determine that it is always in the best interests of the child to maintain contact with one of the parents, even when those parents are violent or abusive.” experts have pointed out.

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In his opinion, “a fundamental cause” of this problem is the “discriminatory bias against women, which makes their testimony is perceived as less credible than that of men, “the experts said. Similarly, they regret that it is” less likely that women are believed when they denounce physical and sexual violence committed by parents against themselves and their children. ”

The UN has explained that the situation has been followed “closely” for “almost a decade” and, it says, has shared its concerns with the government. Despite this, the organization has denounced, experts continue to be informed of new cases in Spain of mothers who lose custody of their children at the hands of abusive parents.

Parental alignment syndrome

In this sense, it refers to parental alienation concept that, as indicated, is “theoretically gender neutral” but that, as he has pointed out, in “investigations carried out in Spain” it has been shown that mothers “have been regularly accused of resorting” to this formula, accusing the fathers of their children of committing child abuse in custody litigation.

“Although prohibited by recent Spanish legislation, theories about parental alienation seem to continue to play a role in judicial decisions in Spain, experts have warned.

“Guided by pseudoscientific and regressive theories such as parental alienation, the courts in Spain and other countries do not guarantee the right of children not to be victims of violence and the right of women to non-discrimination,” the experts said. This worrying trend has also been identified in other countries in Europe, Latin America and other regions, “warns the UN.

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In this sense, the organization calls on Spain to “do more” so that its legislation on this matter “is operational” and to “ensure that all judicial system officials apply a gender-sensitive and child-centered approach to child custody and domestic violence cases, in addition to taking effective measures to prevent such acts of violence that may amount to treatment or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, or even torture “.

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