All articles

Thu
12
Jan

Underage Soldiers in German Military at Record Highs

According to a new report published in Die Welt, the German military recruited a record number of underage soldiers last year. Despite efforts from Germany’s Die Linke (Left Party) to end underage recruitments, the military has come back saying everything is being done in accordance with the law.

Read the full story on German Pulse...

Thu
12
Jan

American Teens Get Israel-Style Military Training — at New York Sports Camp

It looks like a slick military recruiting video – exciting background music pulsing in the background, soldiers in training wearing camouflage and face masks crawling through the mud as a commander urges them on, wielding rifles as they ambush an enemy in the wilderness, and, at the end, an Israeli flag waving patriotically in the background with the message to “Enlist Now” printed across the screen.

Read the full story on Forward...

Wed
11
Jan

UK: Veterans warn young people about ‘traumatic’ army training

Army training is ‘traumatic’ for young recruits and damages the adolescent mind, according to British infantry veteran Wayne Sharrocks, who features in a series of short films released this week by Child Soldiers International. The films offer young people and their parents a frank alternative to army recruitment materials which, say many veterans, present a sanitised and unrealistic impression of military life. In particular, Wayne Sharrocks wants young people to know that the psychological effects of training can be harmful and permanent.

Wed
04
Jan

South Sudan: More than 17,000 children used in conflict since 2013

Three years after fighting first erupted in South Sudan, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups, with 1,300 children recruited in 2016, UNICEF said today. This brings to more than 17,000 the total number of children used in the conflict since 2013.

“Since the first day of this conflict, children have been the ones most devastatingly affected by the violations,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala.

Read more here.

This article is a news note by UNICEF first published on 15 December 2016.

Tue
20
Dec

Catalonia: Activists demand military-free educational events

On 29th November, the campaign Demilitarise Education from Catalonia organised an action in front of the Consortium of Education of Barcelona, calling on the officials to ensure that military will not take place in any future educational events in Catalonia. As part of the action, activists handed in letters addressing the official bodies responsible for avoiding the military participation in educational events, and organised a press conference.

Previously in November, the organisation committee of the Festival of  Childhood in Barcelona, which is one of the educational events the armed forces joined previously, made a statement announcing that the military or any police bodies will not be taking part in the festival this year, which will take place between 27th December and 4th January.

Mon
19
Dec

3rd International Week of Action held with events organised across the world

The 3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth was held between 14-20 November with the participation of various groups taking actions and organising events across different countries. This year it has been the third time War Resisters' International called activists from all around the world for actions and events raising awareness of, and challenging, the ways violence and military values are normalised for young people.

Throughout the week we had street actions, workshops, vigils and other public events all which were touching upon those many ways young people's minds and bodies are recruited by militaries and other war profiteers.  

Mon
19
Dec

Thailand: Interview with the conscientious objector Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal

During a War Resisters' International trip to Thailand last month we met Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, a conscientious objector. Here's a short interview by WRI staff member Hannah Brock, talking with Netiwit about conscription and the role of the army in Thailand.

Make sure 'CC' is on if you want subtitles (in English).

Thailand: Interview with the conscientious objector Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal
Wed
07
Dec

Ex-child soldier Dominic Ongwen appears before the International Criminal Court

A former militia leader from northern Uganda has denied committing war crimes including rape and murder, on the opening day of his trial at the international criminal court at The Hague, saying that as a child soldier taken by force from his home by the organisation he was a victim of its atrocities, not a perpetrator.

Dominic Ongwen, once a feared commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, told judges in a dramatic outburst that he was “one of the people against whom the LRA committed atrocities”. He said: “In the name of God, I deny all these charges.”

Fri
02
Dec

Silent victims of violence: 4m kids orphaned in DRC

 More than 4 million children have lost at least one parent in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past two decades, the silent victims of continuous cycles of violence.

And more than 26 million orphans live in West and Central Africa, where DRC is located — the second highest number in the world behind South Asia, according to the United Nations.

These children have grown up amid conflict fueled by ethnic strife and the fight over valuable minerals. The violence and displacement are eroding the tradition of families caring for their own.

Read the full article here.

This is an article by Associated Press which appears on News24.

Sun
27
Nov

Militarization of children in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic soldiers have reportedly started touring elementary schools nationwide in an effort to introduce students to military life. Children from the age of 10 are being familiarized with and encouraged to play with machine guns. These terrifying images bring memories of totalitarian regimes, in which education about war and a militaristic vision of society and life were instilled into children from a young age.

All of this, moreover, is taking place right at a time when the United States has yet again witnessed a mass shooting that took place in a school and the President himself is impotent to act against the powerful arms industry. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2015 alone gun-related incidents in the US amounted to 33,293. 8,514 people lost their lives and 17,361 were injured. Among the dead there were 486 children under the age of 11 and 1,687 between 12 and 17. Is this the model we want to follow?

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