In this written submission to the Defence Committee's inquiry into the work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, we focus on how issues with the complaints system may affect the youngest serving personnel in the armed forces, particularly those under 18 years old, and recommend that the youngest members of the armed forces are considered as a distinct group in relation to the functioning of the service complaints system.
At the launch event for our report with Medact on Selling the Military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK, contributors and participants told us why they think this is an important issue. And a longer film of the presentation summarising the report.
Contact your MP, other political representative or local union or political branch about the military involvement in education and raising the age of military recruitment.
This report, written by ForcesWatch and published with the public health charity Medact, analyses the way the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people, creating powerful messages that which exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and well-being of recruits. Narratives of camaraderie and self-development also serve to promote an uncontroversial and depoliticised idea of the military more widely which promote self-fulfilment in the context of conflict.
27/02/2019ForcesWatch press release
A report published today (27 February 2019) critiques the armed forces’ marketing practice in selling their careers to vulnerable adolescents. This comes in the wake of the Army's controversial new 'Snowflake' recruiting campaign.
27/02/2019BMJ Paediatrics Open
This editorial in BMJ Paediatrics Open (2019, vol 3, issue 1) discusses the issues raised in the Medact report, The recruitment of children by the UK Armed Forces: a critique from health professionals, which brought together evidence highlighting the increased risk of death and injury for those recruited under the age of 18. The authors, Reem Abu-Hayyeh and Guddi Singh, contributed to the content and launch of the report Selling the military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK by ForcesWatch and Medact.
We welcome Liberty's Second Rate Justice report and the launch of their new Human Rights Helpline for the UK Armed Forces.
Our response to the Public Accounts Committee have today published their report Skill Shortages in the Armed Forces, which makes a number of problematic recommendations that put the military's operational needs over other considerations.
The nationwide survey found 72% of people who expressed a view believed young people should not be able to join the army until they are 18.
ICM survey was commissioned by campaigners against child soldiers