Open letter to Minister of State for the Armed Forces on armed forces recruitment age


Open letter to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) calling for an end to the recruitment of under-18s. Signatories include the Church of Scotland and the Bishops of the Church in Wales, as well as the Unitarian Church, Quakers in Britain, Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist groups. They call on the MoD to raise the recruitment age as a “fitting memorial” to the thousands of young soldiers killed in World War One.

“We call for the minimum recruitment age to be returned to 18 years. This would be a fitting memorial to those thousands who, whether unlawfully recruited as minors during the First World War or recruited to fight in other conflicts, were exposed to death, injury and trauma that no child should ever experience.”

The letter has been made public on the same day that Child Soldiers International released new analysis of MoD figures which demonstrates plummeting enlistment levels among 16-year-olds and rising drop-out rates from training.

See more: WWI commemorations, legislation & policy, recruitment age, remembrance, risks, Child Soldiers International, ForcesWatch