Today is the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers. Today also sees the start of a court martial of 16 instructors at Army Foundation College Harrogate which trains young recruits aged under 18. They are charged with numerous counts of bullying and abuse.
We report on a recent meeting in Parliament with a range of speakers on the urgent need to raise the age of recruitment to the armed forces in the UK.
ForcesWatch comment on the 2018 British Army recruitment advertising campaign
ForcesWatch comment on the 2018 British Army recruitment advertising campaign: We welcome any commitments and improvements the military makes to the welfare of soldiers but caution that the reality of military life is not accurately represented in this new campaign, and that the welfare of recruits into the Army should not be overlooked.
A shorter version of this article is published by The Huffington Post
After hearing from the armed forces, the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee has decided they need to hear more from ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland before making decisions about our petition calling for greater guidance and scrutiny around military visits to schools.
Every year, the fury levied at those who critique or refuse the red poppy obscures the complexity and spectrum of views such dissenters open up. What is lost in this explosion of vitriol and misunderstanding is the opportunity to allow us, as empathic human beings, to be open to divergent viewpoints, to think honestly about wars and to discuss their causes.
We report from the day of talks and workshops to launch the Take Action on Militarism pack which is designed to equip and support those challenging militarism in their communities.
Douglas Beattie reports on an important campaigning moment.
Cadet units are not a social panacea but a recruitment tool. Our article, published in Schools Week, critiques the social impact report being used by the MoD to validate the expansion of cadets in state schools.
Children don’t need militarism. They need a decent learning environment, writes Rhianna Louise. Our piece in The Morning Star about the latest announcement of more cadet units in schools and the problematic social impact report that has been published to support this.
Dr Brian Belton and ForcesWatch
Dr Brian Belton, a leading international authority on youth work, gives his thoughts on the report: What is the social impact resulting from the expenditure on cadets? He argues that, 'the modern world does not require conformity, it demands innovation'.