Risking their Health – Children in the Armed Forces

20160929_142804Speakers include: Joe Glenton (Afghanistan veteran, author of ‘Soldier Box’, and journalist) Sally Slotowitz (a psychologist, and an author of the report, David Gee (Author of ‘Spectacle, Reality and Resistance: Confronting a Culture of Militarism and UK Coordinator of Child Soldiers International)

This is the launch of Britain’s only public health report into the long term health impacts of the British military’s recruitment of children. The UK is the only country in Europe to recruit 16 year olds and the only permanent member of the UN Security Council to recruit under 18s into the armed forces. It faces pressure from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UK’s Joint Committee on Human Rights and many other organisations to raise the recruitment age to 18, the age of majority.

Medact’s report details the risks to health that are disproportionately faced by child recruits, including self-harm, suicide, death or injury from combat, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also examines how recruitment is concentrated in areas of socio-economic disadvantage, and how this and other recruitment practices lead to those children who are most vulnerable to trauma-related health problems ending up on the front line.
The launch event will feed medical evidence into the national campaign to increase the minimum age of army recruitment to 18. We hope that it will also engage the local population in Brighton in thinking about what we can do in local schools and clubs to get young people, teachers, and parents talking more openly about militarisation.
We will be providing attendees with a copy of the report, and a ForcesWatch ‘Education not Militarisation’ toolkit to help them find ways to derail the militarist narrative and campaign against militarisation in educational institutions.
Brighton University, School of Humanities (Room G7), Pavilion Parade, (Pavilion street entrance) BN2 1RD**

** Directions from Brighton Station: Exit Brighton train station by the main entrance and walk down the footpath straight ahead. You’ll pass several bus stops on the right and then join a high street with shops on either side called Queens Road. Go down Queens Road and take the third left onto Church Street. As you’re going down Church Street, cross over and walk on the right hand side of the road. After 5 minutes the follow the pavement as it bends round to the right, and carry on past the traffic lights. Cross over at the next set of traffic lights and carry on down the road. There will be a park on the right and an unobstructed view of Brighton Pavilion. When you see this, you will be just outside the Humanities building.