ForcesWatch scrutinises the ethics of armed forces recruitment practices and challenges efforts to embed militarist values in civilian society.
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The report outlines concerns about the existing model, and offer a different vision for the future. Read more
Petition to the Scottish Parliament
ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland have submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament to:
- scrutinise armed forces visits to schools in Scotland
- provide guidance on how such visits should be conducted
- ensure that parents are always consulted.
The petition is now closed but see more information here.
A short film about our work
our new book on militarism
At a comfortable distance from warfare, our culture easily passes over its horrific reality in favour of an appealing, even romantic, spectacle of war. Yet, over the last decade, most Britons have opposed Western military ventures abroad. This book takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, public resistance to it, and the government's prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war. See details & buy book
* 'How to Prevent Violence and Create Peaceful Schools' conference - run by Facing History And Ourselves, and Quakers in Britain - at Friends House in London on Thurs 16 June.
* National conference for primary school teachers: 'Learning Through Peace - Developing Whole School Values and Outstanding SMSC', in London on Fri 24 June.
* 'Playing Soldiers': a verbatim school theatre production exploring the armed forces' recruitment of young people, featuring quotes from ForcesWatch, in Edinburgh from 21-29 August. Free preview in London on 30 June - email firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
* Click here for upcoming Veterans for Peace UK events, including talks.
Watch our film - Engage: the military and young people
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? This short film explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.
Watch the film trailer below:
A funny short film by a young boy on The Militarization of Boys
Raise the age to join the army to 18
By William and Noah
A 4 part investigation of 'the soldier myth' - talking to soldiers about recruitment, training, fighting and coming home
The impact of a £50 million grant to boost school cadet forces cannot be scrutinised because the government will not release details – although there are few signs of the 100 units a year needed to meet the ambitious target and new figures show a decline in number of school cadets. ForcesWatch are quoted: “This huge amount of money could have been allocated towards educational resources that do not have a military framework and would have far wider appeal.”
With the new inquest verdict into the death of Cheryl James at Deepcut, ForcesWatch is calling on Ministers to implement important recommendations for young recruits made in 2005.
Figures show that more 16 year olds were recruited in the last year than 17 year olds as the government admits that is intends to increase the number of children it recruits into the armed forces.
An open letter to the Ministry of Defence from national children’s organisations and rights groups calls on them to stop recruiting 16 and 17 year olds into the armed forces. The letter has been made public on the same day that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child begins its periodic examination of the UK’s record on child rights. In 2008, the UN urged the UK to raise the enlistment age to 18.
The army's venerable tradition no longer makes financial sense.
An excellent blog article on the Writers of Colour (Media Diversified) website, by the young Welsh-Pakistani Yasmin Begum, arguing for the minimum age of UK armed forces recruitment to be raised from 16 to 18. Focuses on the situation in Wales.
Mairi Campbell-Jack of Quakers in Scotland writes about why armed forces activities in schools is an issue that Scotland should be dealing with and the petition to the Scottish Government launched by Quakers and ForcesWatch.