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Should the armed forces encourage young people to interact with weapons and military vehicles? Our new web resource looks at why is this happening and asks if it is right and how can it be challenged?
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.
This briefing summarises key elements of military involvement in education and youth activities in the UK. It covers the defence industry as well as the armed forces and Ministry of Defence. It outlines the main concerns this raises and how these concerns have been voiced so far.
This report explores how the 'Militarisation Offensive' which started in 2006 to improve public recognition and support for the armed forces failed to produce majority support for the war in Afghanistan but deepened the militarisation of British politics and society. Since 2006 the military have broken constitutional convention and made public attacks on politicians, leading to the most severe tensions in political-military relations since the Second World War.
Militarism has existed in the Britain for a long time, but there is a new tide of militarisation that has developed over the last five years. This briefing from Quaker Peace and Social Witness, explores the government strategy to increase public support for the military, in order to raise the willingness of the public to pay for the military, make recruitment easier, and stifle opposition to unpopular wars.
This submission made by ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament's human rights inquiry details our concerns around the need for regulation and transparent accountability of military activities in schools, the lack of education about peace and human rights, and the continued recruitment of children into the UK armed forces.
This ForcesWatch briefing analyses data on armed forces visits to schools in Scotland for 2016-17.
This report from Veterans For Peace UK details how the Army's training process has a forceful impact on attitudes, health, and behaviour even before recruits are sent to war. The findings show that military training and culture combine with pre-existing issues (such as a childhood history of anti-social behaviour) to increase the risk of violence and alcohol misuse. Traumatic war experiences further exacerbate the problem.
This article, written by Child Soldiers International and published in the Royal United Service Institute Journal, argues that raising the UK enlistment age from 16 to 18 would bring benefits to young people and the British armed forces. The article explains that the UK’s low enlistment age is counterproductive internationally, as it implies to other countries that it is acceptable to use children under the age of 18 to staff national armed forces.
Medact’s report on the long-term impacts of the British military’s recruitment of children under the age of 18, presents evidence linking ‘serious health concerns’ with the policy, and calls for a rise in the minimum recruitment age. It looks at the psychological and psychosocial vulnerabilities of adolescents in the context of military recruitment marketing strategies and making long-term risky decisions and examines the evidence that under 18 recruits face greater risks to health than adult recruits, across the course of an armed forces career.