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The Women in the Armed Forces report evidences abuse and harassment on a systemic scale. Can the gap between good intentions and bad practice ever be bridged in a military culture? As the army launches its recruitment advert aimed at women, what the particular implications are for girl recruits under 18.
Twenty major children’s and human rights organisations have written to the UK government today, calling for an end to the recruitment of children by the UK armed forces.
The Centre for Military Justice provide access to free, independent, expert legal advice when dealing with serious bullying, sexual harassment, gender-based violence or other forms of discrimination, including racial discrimination, and to bereaved military families needing legal support and representation when dealing with the aftermath of a service death.The helpline number is 0203 848 6820 or contact them on email.
We look at recent reports on the levels of abuse in the armed forces and growing ackowledgement of the systemic failures in how complaints are handled.
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.
We look at the Lost Heroines campaign by specialist lawyers Bolt Burdon Kemp which highlights some of the issues facing women in the military, with a particular focus on sexual harassment.
Last week the Coroner at Working Coroner’s Court delivered the findings into the circumstances of Sean Benton’s death at Deepcut Barracks in June 1995. Sean was the first of four soldiers to die there between 1995 and 2002. ForcesWatch have been monitoring the inquest; this article shares our records from the inquest and notes on the final findings.Download the full notes
On the day that the Harrogate abuse court martials were dropped and the press was allowed to comment after reporting restrictions were lifted, there was coverage in almost all the major news outlets. Our comments, and those of partner organisations, were also reported.
Three cases involving over 40 claimants and 16 Army instructors have collapsed, raising a number of serious concerns about failings within the military justice system. As a result, serious allegations of abuse against very young recruits have not been tested. We call for changes to the system and question whether a military environment where aggression is fostered will ever be condusive to the wellbeing of young recruits.
New findings highlight need to protect young people from harsh military training environments and inadequate safeguards in cadet forces.