UK: Under-18s in army 'face greater injury, death and mental health risks'

, The Guardian

Public health charity uses damning report to call for minimum recruitment age to be raised to 18.

Recruiting children aged 16 and 17 into the British army places them at greater risk of death, injury and long-term mental health problems than those recruited as adults, according to a new report.

The public health charity Medact uses its report, published on Tuesday, to call for the minimum recruitment age to be raised to 18.

“Minimum age laws exist to protect children from smoking, drinking, driving and watching violent films,” said Dr David McCoy, director of Medact. “It’s time for the UK to fall in step with the vast majority of countries and raise the minimum recruitment age to 18.”

The UK is the only country in Europe, and only permanent member of the UN security council, to still allow recruitment from age 16. A nationwide poll in 2014 found that 77% of the general public support a rise in the recruitment age to 18.

The army’s policy of recruiting children has been strongly criticised by multiple UN and UK parliamentary bodies, child rights organisations and human rights groups.

Read the full article here.

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