All articles

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?

Sat
26
Nov

Syrian Refugees, 2014/2016

Toy children in Syrian refugee camp

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.

Thu
24
Nov

MSPs back further research on military school recruitment despite Tory complaints

Petitions committee seeks further round of evidence on military targeting young people

THE CAMPAIGN FOR TRANSPARENCY over military targeting of young people will receive further attention from the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee. 

A short session on the issue was held today [Thursday 24 November] at the Scottish Parliament, with the decision taken to seek further evidence on how military careers visits to schools impacts on military targeting of teenagers for recruitment into the armed forces. 

Campaign groups Forces Watch and Quakers in Scotland brought the petition forward, receiving over 1000 signatures and a range of high profile political backers. 

The committee, composed of five MSPs, decided to seek further evidence on the issue, despite objections to the petition from the group’s two Tory representatives. 

Thu
24
Nov

Germany: Humboldt University Student Parliament opposes military advertising at university

The Student Parliament (StuPa) of Humboldt University (HU) in Berlin voted on November 21 to oppose any Bundeswehr (armed forces) advertising at the university. The motion was tabled by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) chapter at Humboldt.

The StuPa adopted the resolution by a large majority: 19 voted in favor, six against and seven abstained. The resolution reads: “The Student Parliament rejects all forms of advertising for the Bundeswehr at our institution and calls on the Berlin Students Union and the University administration not to allow advertising by the Bundeswehr on the campus of HU.”

Mon
21
Nov

Just a job: Gendered militarism as everyday normality in Germany

By David Scheuing

Sat
19
Nov

UK: Militarising Childhood

By Dr. Victoria M. Basham 

Since the late 2000s, successive British governments have put considerable resources into promoting greater recognition and support for the UK Armed Forces. The targeting of children has been integral to this. From the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) recommendation that its ‘Armed Forces Days’ take place on Saturdays so that school children can more easily attend, to military provision of activities for classrooms, enhancing positive associations with the military, specifically among children, has been an aim from the outset.

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