Britain

Fri
20
Mar
2015
New translation available
Submitted by antimili-youth

By Tracy Walker, Nottingham Post

Nottingham city centre stood to attention when shoppers were given an insight into life in the Armed forces.

Regular Army and Army reserve units from across the Midlands hosted a recruitment...

Fri
10
Oct

Exploitation or proud tradition? Britain's child soldiers

Photo: Channel 4

Campaigners launch a new attack on the army's policy of recruiting children as young as 16. But veterans says it is a time-honoured way of offering troubled teenagers a better life. Who's right?

The campaign group Child Soldiers International has lodged a claim for judicial review into Ministry of Defence rules on young soldiers.

The group says you effectively join up for six years if you enlist before the age of 18, instead of four if you join as an adult. Its lawyers say this constitutes unlawful age discrimination and violates European law.

It is the latest in a string of attacks on way the British army treats minors in its ranks. Ultimately, Child Soldiers International and other campaigners want parliament to raise the minimum age of voluntary recruitment from 16 to 18.

Tue
30
Sep

Is there a problem with Military involvement in Education? [event in London]

From the Peace Education Network, Britain

Increased military involvement in schools is a policy championed by the current UK government. This has meant funding the development of new cadet corps, fast-track training as teachers for former soldiers, and encouraging the adoption by schools of a military ethos.

Tue
23
Sep

Militarising Communities: The Armed Forces Community Covenant

As we mark the centenary of WW1 the UK armed forces are enjoying the highest levels of public support that they have seen for decades. One result of the global 'war on terror' has been the elevation of military service, not just as an exceptional form of labour which is due particular rewards, but also as an occupation that benefits the whole society. The last few years have seen the increasing application of military values, methods and even training in civilian spheres such as education, youth work and leisure.

Wed
20
Aug

LETTER FROM LONDON: British army’s adverts sell dreams of adventure

FOR a South African unused to it, it’s startling to see the number of gung-ho military recruitment advertisements flighted on British television. Targeted at youths who have grown up playing Call of Duty on their gaming consoles, the adverts make military life look like a scene from a video game.

There’s much fun to be had and skills to acquire. It’s like the Boy Scouts, but you get to play with real tanks, shoot real guns, blow stuff up, build bridges over rivers in far-flung locations. Kwaai, ek sê.

Join the Royal Marines and you could stalk and capture baddies with the sharp skills they’ll teach you.

The advert for the reserves must get a special mention. That particular message can be summed up thus: you might be a stationery salesman in a digital age, so why not ditch the daily drudgery for camouflage on the weekends and be more than a pencil pusher?

Tue
19
Aug

The Arms industry in schools

The opening of South Wiltshire University Technical College in September 2015 will allow arms companies and the armed forces to directly influence and shape the running of a school and its curriculum.

The South Wiltshire University Technical College will teach science and engineering for ages 14 to 19 “in the context of the defence industries”, and is sponsored by weapons manufacturers Chemring, Qinetiq, security giant Serco and the Army's 43 (Wessex) Brigade.

Chemring, one of the companies sponsoring the South Wiltshire College, produce munitions, bomb detectors, countermeasures and pyrotechnics and supplies some of the world's most repressive regimes. The CS gas canister on the right was used against protesters in Egypt in 2011. (Copywrite Orhamilton/flickr)

Tue
12
Aug

Example: Committee on the Rights of the Child on Britain

CRC/C/OPAC/GBR/CO/1

Concluding observations:
UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

Voluntary recruitment

12. The Committee notes that, according to the State party’s declaration under article 3 made upon ratification, the minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 16 years and regrets the fact that the State party indicates that there are no plans to change this.

13. The Committee encourages the State party to consider reviewing its position and raise the minimum age for recruitment into the armed forces to 18 years in order to promote the protection of children through an overall higher legal standard. In the meantime, the Committee recommends that, in recruiting among those persons who have not yet attained the age of18, priority is given to those who are the oldest.

Tue
12
Aug

Resolution at National Union of Teachers conference, 2008: War

War

Conference reaffirms existing Union policies which:

1. Call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
2. Oppose military action or intervention in Iran.

The Global Campaign for Education have reported that over half of the children out of school are now living in countries where there are wars taking place. Conference notes with particular concern the huge refugee crisis within and beyond Iraq’s borders, one consequence of which is the impossibility of education for most learners of all ages.

Tue
12
Aug

Army recruiters visit London's poorest schools most often

The British Regular Army visits schools as a major part of its recruitment programme and a third of new soldier recruits are aged under 18. These recruits may face serious personal risk and challenging moral dilemmas, yet their terms of service can prevent them from leaving the army for up to six years. Given that minors are less able than adults to make free, informed and responsible decisions about enlisting, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the House of Commons/Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights have recommended raising the minimum age of recruitment to 18. Both Committees also recommend that the UK ensure that disadvantaged communities are not targeted for recruitment.

Fri
08
Aug

Engage: the Military and Young People

A short film made by Headliners and ForcesWatch, 2014

Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.

Engage: the Military and Young People

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