resources: guidance

March 2016

Published by Child Soldiers International, this short and accessible booklet addresses questions often raised about under-18s in the armed forces, presenting the facts - based on extensive research - rather than the fiction. Also contains very useful quotes and statistics. Great when talking to your MP or for those thinking of enlisting!

Despite this widespread unease about the policy of recruiting 16 and 17 years olds into the armed forces, a number of common misconceptions still lead many under-18s to leave their education early and enlist. This booklet examines these ‘myths’ in light of the evidence available.

‘The fact that the British armed forces continue to recruit from the age of 16 sets a poor example internationally and impedes global efforts to end the use of child soldiers. The Army surely does not need to make youngsters sign up formally at such a young age – there have to be other, better ways to meet our requirements whilst respecting our human rights obligations.’

Major General (retd) Tim Cross CBE

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March 2013

The Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a guide to applicable international standards and jurisprudence relating to conscientious objection to military service.

It is designed as a guide for 'State officials who are responsible for implementing laws, administrative decrees or regulations relating to conscientious objection to military service, as well as Members of Parliament and Government officials who may be involved in drafting laws or administrative decrees or regulations on this subject.'

Additionally, the publication (below) 'is intended to guide individuals who may be called to perform military service and are unsure of what their rights are in this regard, and how and when they can be exercised.'

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December 2012

A ForcesWatch briefing on the Government policy of expanding cadets and promoting 'military skills and ethos' in schools. It looks at:

  • what are the cadet forces
  • how will the cadet forces be expanded
  • why is this happening - who benefits
  • why is this a problem
  • what can we do about it
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May 2012

This ForcesWatch briefing is for parents, students and teachers concerned with military activities in their school. It looks at:

  • how and why the armed forces engage with schools and colleges
  • perspecitves on armed forces activities in schools and colleges
  • things to think about before raising concerns with the school
  • points and questions to raise with the school
  • alternatives to military-led activities
  • sources of more information
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2011

Notes compiled by the Peace Pledge Union on the procedure for reservists called up for military action and those in the reservists and regular armed forces who have a conscientious objection.

2007

Details of how to register a conscientious obhection in the army, navy and RAF. This information was obtained using the Freddom of Information Act and was previously not in the public domain.

2007

There are many active veterans groups in the US. The Veterans’ Education and Outreach Project has produced a guide called Advice From Veterans on Military Service and Recruiting Practices. Although much of the information in the guide is mainly relevant to the United States, it does cover a number of important considerations for those considering enlisting in any army such as Conscientious Objection and War and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

2006

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg (Editor) with Cindy Sheehan (Introduction)

 New Press

THE 10 REASONS
  • You May Be Killed
  • You May Kill Others Who Do Not Deserve to Die
  • You May Be Injured
  • You May Not Receive Proper Medical Care
  • You May Suffer Long-term Health Problems
  • You May Be Lied To
  • You May Face Discrimination
  • You May Be Asked to Do Things Against Your Beliefs
  • You May Find It Difficult to Leave the Military
  • You Have Other Choices

Before you sign upAn independent website, setting out the pros and cons of enlisting in the UK armed forces. The site includes information and important questions for consideration for potential recruits to the Army, Navy/Marine and the RAF, those already in the forces, as well as parents and teachers. With many useful resources, including information on recruiting in schools and a lessons plan exploring issues around army recruitment, this site should be read by everyone before they sign up. 

Before You Sign Up has a useful page on Recruiting in schools and colleges. This website also has a lesson plan devised for Citizenship Key Stage 4. The learning outcomes are: an outline understanding of life as a soldier, including the pros and cons; understand and speak about ethical issues involved in recruiting young people from age 16 into the armed forces; ability to deconstruct a TV advertisement; and, bring critical awareness to an important social issue.