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14 Feb 2014 00:00
The objective of the list is to protect children from being bullied because of their name. |(John McCann)
A new law in the northern Mexican state of Sonora bans parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as “derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning”.
The civil registry is distributing a list of 61 such names to its local offices around the state.
The list has been drawn up primarily from a
revision of records of names registered in the past.
These range from Burger King and Usnavy, to the Spanish words for scrotum and traffic, as well as famous names such as Hitler and Harry Potter.
Civil registry director Cristina Ramirez said: “The objective of the list is to protect children from being bullied because of their name.
“We know that bullying can seriously affect a child’s personality and development of social skills, and we want to do what we can from our area of responsibility.”
The use of odd names for children in Mexico has a long tradition, sometimes rooted in parents failing to understand the meaning of their choice.
The Sonora list includes Anivdelarev, an abbreviation of the Spanish equivalent of “anniversary of the revolution” that is often printed on calendars and is sometimes mistaken by parents as the name of a saint associated with that date.
The list includes names that would be unremarkable, such as Hermione and James Bond, were they not deemed to have uncomfortable connotations for children.
Social media networks Facebook and Twitter made the blacklist for preventative reasons, despite the fact that no such registrations have so far occurred in Mexico.
Civil registries across the country began seeking to dissuade parents from giving their children names believed to make them vulnerable to mockery in 2009 but, Ramirez said, experience had shown this was not enough.
She said the list would be revised every few months, with new names added as they arose, although she admitted it was a divisive issue.
“Some people are saying we’re attacking the liberty of parents. We think these names attack the superior interests of the child.” – © Guardian News & Media 2014
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