get involved

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.

Raising the age of recruitment

ForcesWatch are working with Child Soldiers International to raise the age of armed forces recruitment in the UK from 16 to 18 years. See our work on thie issue here.

Please help our campaign by:

Challenging the military in schools

ForcesWatch are challenging the military's involvement in UK schools and colleges and the promotion of 'military ethos' within national education policy by the Department for Education. Please help us by:

ForcesWatch appeal

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Events 

 * '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 connor.abbott@ucs.org.uk for info.

* Click here for upcoming Veterans for Peace UK events, including talks.

Share your news

Let us know of any activities you are working on or in your area about military activity in schools or challenging militarism. We can help spread the word.

Materials for use in schools

Take a look at education resources for materials for use in schools that look at things from a different perspective.

See also Quaker resources on peace education  and those provided by the Peace Education Network.

Stay in touch

Keep informed of our work through Facebook, Twitter or RSS. You can also sign up to our email lists. See more here

Read 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

Watch our film on the miltary 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.

See film and more info. With Welsh subtitles.

Watch the film trailer below:

We call on the UK Government to stop its policy of allowing 15 year olds to apply and 16 and 17 year olds to be recruited into the Armed Forces. The recruitment and targeting of young people and vulnerable groups has been criticised by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Sign the petition

Why is this important?

What better way to commit our country to peace during the commemoration of World War One and remember the hundreds of thousands who died from the UK alone, including boy soldiers like Rifleman V J Strudwick who was killed at 15? Why is it that in 2014 the UK is the only country in Europe - and the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council - to recruit 16 year olds into its armed forces?

Initiated by Pax Christi and supported by:
Baptist Peace Fellowship, Child Soldiers International, Christian CND, Columban Justice Peace & Integrity of Creation, Conscience, Fellowship of Reconciliation, ForcesWatch, Movement for the Abolition of War, National Justice & Peace Network, National Union of Teachers, Network for Peace, Northern Friends Peace Board, Peace Education Network, Peace Pledge Union, Quaker Peace & Social Witness, Student Christian Movement, War Resisters International, Woodcraft Folk, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom.

Sign the petition

Download paper version

If you are NOT in the UK, you can sign here

Visit the petition's Facebook page

Before You Sign Up

Contact us to get a free batch of these cards (or our other free materials) to distribute.