All articles

Sat
30
Jul

Congress is again considering proposals to end, or to expand, Selective Service

Once again in 2022, sooner than we expected, Congress is considering proposals either to finally end the widely disregarded, unenforced, and unenforceable requirement for men ages 18-26 to register and report changes of address to the Selective Service System for use in a future military draft — or to try to expand draft registration to young women as well as young men

Sunday, 10 July 2022 / Edward Hasbrouck / Edward Hasbrouck's blog - Once again in 2022, sooner than we expected, Congress is considering proposals either to finally end the widely disregarded, unenforced, and unenforceable requirement for men ages 18-26 to register and report changes of address to the Selective Service System for use in a future military draft — or to try to expand draft registration to young women as well as young men.

Thu
19
May

Navy desertions have more than doubled amid suicide concerns, as sailors feel trapped by contracts

A uniform hat at a Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis, Md., in 2008

The number of sailors who deserted the Navy more than doubled from 2019 to 2021, highlighting the lack of options contract-bound sailors face when they’re desperate to leave.

Melissa Chan | NBC News - The number of sailors who deserted the Navy more than doubled from 2019 to 2021, while desertions in other military branches dropped or stayed flat, pointing to a potential Navy-wide mental health crisis amid a spate of recent suicides, according to experts and federal statistics obtained by NBC News.

Among a fleet of more than 342,000 active sailors, there were 157 new Navy deserters in 2021, compared with 63 in 2019 and 98 in 2020, Navy data shows. The total number of deserters who were still at large in 2021 grew to 166 from 119 in 2019. Most of them were 25 and younger.

“That’s staggering,” said Benjamin Gold, a defense attorney for U.S. service members.

Thu
07
Apr

Daraa youth refuse to join compulsory 'murderous' Syrian regime military service, fear for uncertain future

Young men in Syria fear being conscripted into the regime's army

Many young men in Syria's southern Daraa province are refusing to join the Assad regime's military forces and now fear for their fate as a conscription deadline approaches.

Young men refusing to enrol in compulsory military service with the Syrian regime feel under threat of arrest as the deadline for the postponement of their conscription expires, The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.
The regime in April 2021 granted men aged between 18 and 36, who are wanted for military service in the southern Daraa province, a period of one year in which they were free to travel before enrolling in the army.
During this period, thousands of young men left the area.

Thu
24
Mar

Fearing front-line deployment, some Russians resist conscription

Several young Russians have fled the country, fearing that they would be sent to the front line as conscripts [File: Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP]

As rumours of martial law spread across Russia in early March, some young men abruptly left their homeland, fearing they would be conscripted and sent to the battlefield in Ukraine.
They are among thousands of people who have fled Russia since February 24, as a crackdown grows on anti-war sentiment.

Ivan*, 17, flew to Turkey on Monday from Russia.

“I don’t think it’s normal that in the 21st century, a person can be taken against their will to serve in the army for an entire year. Right now conscripts are being sent to the front line, and I am categorically against the ‘military operation’ carried out by my country,” he told Al Jazeera, ironically using the state-approved terminology for the war.

After initially insisting that only professional soldiers were fighting in Ukraine, Russia’s defence ministry has since admitted conscripts have been deployed, with some captured or killed.

Sat
12
Mar

Military Conscription Is a Crime Against Humanity

A young Russian conscript receives a military uniform ahead of departing for service in November 2021. (Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a reminder that military conscription remains foundational to modern warfare. It is a reckless, self-defeating, and criminal practice that makes us all less safe — and it should have been abolished long ago.

Jonah Walters | Jacobin | The shocking and massively destructive Russian assault on Ukraine, still ongoing at the time of this writing, is conducted by a military that includes an estimated 260,000 conscripted soldiers in its ranks.

Sat
12
Feb

The Israeli “Refusers”

 Israeli draft resisters. Source: www.refuser.org.

When Israeli children play with toy soldiers, it’s not just a game, a fantasy or an aspiration. It is a fact of life that they will serve in the military, usually right after high school. When children hear stories from family members about their time in the military, it is not just from a father or one aunt or cousin. Nearly all (male and female) adult family members have stories to tell about their time in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). There are exemptions for Orthodox Jews, the mentally or physically unqualified, young mothers, Arab Israelis, and a few others, but it is rare for a citizen to be deemed a conscientious objector. To seek CO status in Israeli society is considered the ultimate betrayal and a process that will bring certain suffering to the individual.

Thu
20
Jan

Two former child soldiers Sierra Leone reflect on their experiences

Two former child soldiers reflect on their experiences during Sierra Leone's brutal civil war and their lives since.

Two former child soldiers Sierra Leone reflect on their experiences
Tue
18
Jan

SNA: “Controlling Child Recruitment is Difficult”

An Education Department activity in the Department of Moral Guidance (Tawjih) in Martyr Abdul Qadir Al-Saleh Camp. Credit: Tawjih Syria.

Dozens of children are still serving within the ranks of the opposition’s Syrian National Army despite Ankara’s measures to end child recruitment

 

Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) verified that factions operating under the opposition’s Syrian National Army (SNA) have been recruiting children among their ranks. Field researchers with STJ obtained information and testimonies confirming that at least 20 minors are currently commissioned within the ranks of the SNA. When our researchers interviewed faction commanders, they claimed it is difficult to control child recruitment despite difficult steps taken to end the practice.

Several of the recruited minors were deployed on the front lines during Operation Peace Spring. Others were trained in military camps across Azaz and Afrin and are still carrying out the tasks they were assigned despite the SNA’s decision to demobilize all child soldiers.

Wed
22
Dec

One in eight children found at risk of becoming child soldiers

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

One in eight of the world’s children - more than 300 million - live in conflict zones where they are at risk of becoming child soldiers, the charity Save the Children warned. The Save the Children report published on 30th November said boosting school access was vital in fighting forced recruitment.

According to the report, during 2020 some 337 million children were living near armed groups and government forces that recruit children.

Nearly 200 million of them live in the world’s deadliest war zones, up 20% from 2019. 

The exact number of child soldiers is unknown, but in 2020 more than 8,500 children were recruited and used as fighters or in other roles by mostly non-state armed groups, according to U.N. data, a 10% increase from the previous year.

That number is likely to be only a fraction of actual cases, the charity’s report said. 

Wed
22
Dec

Myanmar Regime Makes Military Training Compulsory for Soldiers' Children

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Myanmar’s military has made it mandatory for children of its personnel to undergo military training as it seeks to prepare reserve forces, despite such training being against both Myanmar and international law. 

“Among the trainees are teenage children. The military has made the training mandatory for all children old enough to carry a gun. Even my child had to attend,” said a sergeant from a regional command who has now defected.   

However, Myanmar’s Child Rights Law expressly prohibits providing military training to children with the intention of using them to serve in the military, as does the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, said one child rights activist. 

Read the full story published on 07 December 2021 by The Irrawaddy here.

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