Submitted by antimili-youth on Thu, 02/03/2017 - 15:34
Rifles and submachine guns assembled in the UK could be exported for use in conflicts involving child soldiers, according to a report by European children’s charities.
The report accuses Heckler & Koch (H&K) – a German company that is among the world’s largest producers of small arms – of sidestepping obstacles to exports at home by using its subsidiary in the UK, where a “lack of transparency” has frustrated attempts to scrutinise arms deals.
Submitted by antimili-youth on Thu, 23/02/2017 - 19:03
A new report by the German Alliance for Child Soldiers and other non-profits found that there are currently around 250,000 child soldiers in at least 20 conflict-ridden countries who are forced to spy, fight, carry supplies and even be sex slaves. And often German arms end up in these child soldiers’ hands.
“The study proves that Germany delivers small weapons of the deadliest kind to many conflict regions - also those where child soldiers are deployed, for example in the Middle East, India, Pakistan or the Philippines,” said Ralf Willinger, children’s rights expert and spokesman for the child soldiers alliance, in a statement.
“Germany is thus jointly responsible for the escalation of armed conflicts and the suffering of children in these countries.”
Of the total 4.3 million refugees from Syria, one quarter are currently living in Lebanon, most in quasi-legal camps located within sight of the eastern border. With little-to-no government support for the refugees, NGOs like the Kayany Foundation have had to provide for basic needs. They’ve built schools within the camps to give children some sense of normalcy and a path towards a meaningful future. In late 2014 and again in early 2016, Kayany provided support for WAR-TOYS and facilitated a series of art-based interviews and group activities with children at their schools. Despite the gravity of the subject matter (and sometimes harsh weather outside), the interview sessions with the girls and boys were positive, empowering, and energetic thanks to the involvement of Lebanese Art Therapist Myra Saad.
Last year, Henry F. Moss Middle School in Bowling Green, Ohio, offered students a brand new course. And, as a headline in the local newspaper proclaimed, this was “not your traditional class.” For starters, the teacher—an army sergeant—had told the Bowling Green Daily News that one of his goals was to expose these seventh- and eighth-graders to “military values” that they could use as “building blocks” in life. To that end, students in the class earn military style ranks, engage in army-style “PT” (physical training) and each Wednesday, wear camouflage pants and boots.
This is the Moss Middle School Leadership Corps, part of the growing trend of military-style education for pre-adolescents.
This study examines how the mass media’s portrayal of the military, including the war in Iraq, affects U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps recruiting. A telephone survey of households in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas was conducted to measure parents and young adults’ exposure to information about the military in various media sources and how much attention they paid to those sources of information for information about the military. This study was hampered by a small sample size (N=119) that limits the ability to claim significant findings for several hypotheses. However, the study did uncover a pattern that indicated that greater use of newspapers and entertainment television reduced chances of young adults joining the military, whereas use of movies depicting the military enhanced the likelihood of joining. Also, media use predicted people’s attitudes about the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.
As a journalist and researcher, I’ve spent the last several years investigating the expanding network of links between public education and the U.S. military. With my colleague Scott Harding, I’ve also been researching the grassroots response to this phenomenon: the counter-recruitment movement.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE