January 2011This briefing explains how the armed forces recognise the right of serving personnel to be discharged if they develop a conscientious objection but this right is not set out clearly in legislation, is not mentioned in the terms of service and many, perhaps most, forces personnel are unaware of it. The system for registering a conscientious objection is opaque and little information about it is easily available. A briefing outlining the issues and recommendations of how to make registering a conscientious objection accessible to armed forces personnel.
Child Soldiers International is campaigning to stop the recruitment of under 18s into the British armed forces.They work to prevent the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, to secure their demobilisation and to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
November 2007An independent report by David Gee, published in 2007, highlighting the risks posed to young people through joining the military, how young people from disadvantaged communities are targeted, how information available to potential recruits is often misleading and how the terms of service are complicated, confusing and severely restricting. The research found that a large proportion join for negative reasons, including the lack of civilian career options.
November 2009In their report on Children's Rights, the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights recommended that the 'UK adopt a plan of action for implementing the Optional Protocol, including these recommendations, fully in the UK, together with a clear timetable for doing so.' The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommendations under the Optional Protocol were that the UK 'reconsider its active policy of recruitment of children into the armed forces' and a number of other measures.
2007Strategies to counter military recruitment, end war, and build a better world by Aimee Allison and David Solnit, 2007 This is a book from the heart of the vibrant counter recruitment movement in the United States. It looks at the many ways in which schools and communities have become targets for military recruiters and how those schools and communities have responded - with a powerful movement that seeks to resist the militarisation of young people.
2009In this report, the think-tank Ekklesia, argue that Remembrance Day needs to be re-imagined to make it more inclusive, more truthful and more meaningful for future generations, says this report. This would include an honest acknowledgement that some did “die in vain”, an end to “selective remembrance”, a positive stress on peacemaking, and making Armistice Day a bank holiday. The report follows the death of the 'last Tommy', Harry Patch from World War 1, who sadly described current patterns of Remembrance Day as “just show business”.
If you want to join the Army make sure you know ALL the facts before you sign up. Don’t find out the hard way! Information from AT EASE for young people and to be given to young people.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
October 2008The UK remains the only EU country to recruit 16 year olds into the military and one of very few EU countries to recruit 17 year olds. The UK has signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict yet there is evidence that the UK continues to target children from vulnerable groups and that safeguards to protect under-18s are not effective.
2008The Winter Soldier project, organised by the United States based group, Iraq Veterans Against War, details eyewitness accounts from Iraq and Afghanistan. Much of the testimony focuses on the individual soldier’s experience and how they felt about their participation and actions. Six episodes have been created for web viewing (or can be downloaded), e.g. Broken Soldier which tells the stories of 3 soldiers.
January 2010This research published in 2010 has found that the army visited 40% of London schools from September 2008 to April 2009 and disproportionately visits schools in the most disadvantaged areas. The researchers conclude that, “the army's recruitment activities in schools risk jeopardising the rights and future welfare of the young people contacted.