The Venezuelan National Assembly, on Thursday, announced from it’s official website, that it gave final approval to a bill banning violent toys and video games. Those who violate the law could face fines and prison terms of three to five years, as well as the confiscation of merchandise.
The law stipulates that the Venezuelan government will use funds generated from fines towards educational programs, and that private and public media will have to apply percentages of their programming and publicity to advance the purpose of the law in fostering a culture of non-violence. According to the Patria Para Todos (PPT) Party website, the group that proposed the bill, the law will reduce violence in the country by protecting the development of children who can become predisposed to aggression by playing with such toys. The PPT maintains that the law echoes principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,(the 60-year old United Nations mandate that proclaims the right of all human beings to freedom from cruelty and violence, and the ultimate responsibility of all nations to foster the spirit of compassion and brotherhood), and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, (a similar international declaration that pertains specifically to children), as well as Articles 43 and 46 in the Venezuelan Constitution about fostering a culture of non-violence in the country. The law will enter into
effect three months after publication in the Official Gazette, and will be administered by the Venezuelan Institute for the Defense of People’s Access to Goods and Services.
The Venezuelan National Assembly unanimously gave preliminary approval in August. Voting on the bill coincided with a study released by the Civil Council for Public Safety and Penal Justice (CCSP), a Mexican think tank, which reported that Caracas is the second most violent city worldwide. The report received much coverage from Venezuelan media.
Spokesperson for Civil Watch Association report, characterized the law as sterile, however, in light of recent statements by national leaders inciting civilians to be prepared for armed conflict.