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Militarisation of Youth

This week is the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research

This week we've seen a military space conference disrupted at a University in Canada, a rally, lectures and info stalls in Germany, a film screening and fourm in Seoul, publications on youth militarisation, a vigil in London, and many other activities, all part of the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research. Find a list here. Please share news of the week on social media by using #milifreeedu. For the week of action, WRI and other organisations have issued this call to action: War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation!

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War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation! A Call to Action

During this, the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research, WRI and other organisations have issued this call to action: War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation!

From the moment we are born, children and young people all over the world are exposed to the military and military values around them. They are taught that armed force and violence can solve problems.

We call this the militarisation of youth.

In some countries, this militarisation is visible and obvious: young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. This might include forced recruitment, or recruitment of children.

Ideas for action: take part in our week of action for military-free education and research

Would you like to take action for military-free education and research?

You can join War Resisters' International's week of action from 25 - 31 October (as an individual or as a group). Find out more here.

Here are some ideas for actions:

Quotes from WRI's Countering the Militarisation of Youth conference: Resistance

Back to the Contents of the book

I as Director of the Vocational Training Centre for former Child Soldiers implemented programmes for UNICEF including how to get children who were caught up in the war back into the mainstream of life – to get them back into school or vocational activities...Reduce or eliminate all sort of inequalities and violence will be reduced. If there is no violence, there would be no need for child soldiers... - Domino Frank Suleiman, Liberia

WRI is hiring a Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker

Title of Position: Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker

War Resisters' International, a network of pacifist organisations and individuals around the world, is looking for a staff-person for its Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme. Fundraising will be an integrated part of the programme work.

Application pack:

Take action for military free-education and research

Militaries across the world gain access to young people through education systems. It gives them an extraordinary chance to shape every generation's perception of military violence, and lay the groundwork for future recruitment. From 25 - 31 October, join our international week of action for military-free education and research!

Semaine Internationale d’Action pour une Éducation et de la Recherche Libres d’Influence Militaire: 25-31 octobre 2014

Les forces armées à travers le monde ont accès aux jeunes par l’intermédiaire des systèmes d’éducation.

Ceci leur donne une chance extraordinaire de modeler la perception de chaque génération vis-à-vis de la violence militaire et de jeter les bases pour le recrutement futur.

ACCION URGENTE: No al reclutamiento irregular por parte del Ejército Nacional

Related peace activists: 

31 de agosto: Josias Johan Tabares Patiño es libre.   "El joven Josías ya se encuentra en la casa. Regresó el domingo del Putumayo después de casi un día entero de viajar por las carreteras de esa zona del país para que lo recibieran en la cuarta brigada con un examen de bienvenida y la maravillosa noticia de que si tenía la fortuna de ser apto (después de que les practicaran otros 4 exámenes,  resultado: no apto) Radiomacondo

Foto: Radiomacondo

La Asociación Cristiana Menonita para Justicia, Paz y Acción Noviolenta-JUSTAPAZ, el Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Jesús María Valle Jaramillo, el Colectivo de Estudios Sociales y Derechos Humanos ICARIA, los senadores Alberto Castilla Salazar e Iván Cepeda Castro, y los representantes a la cámara Víctor Javier Correa Vélez, Alirio Uribe Muñoz, German Navas Talero realizan una acción urgente buscando la inmediata restitución de derechos y la preservación de la integridad del joven JOSÍAS JOHAN TABARES PATIÑO quien fue retenido con fines de reclutamiento por personal militar de la Sexta División, Vigésima Séptima Brigada de Putumayo el 14 de agosto de 2014, hecho que tuvo lugar  mientras se encontraba en la estación “Aguacatala” del Metro de Medellín, posteriormente fue trasladado al Municipio de Puerto Asís, Departamento de Putumayo.

South Sudan's child soldiers

In April UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said that more than 9,000 child soldiers have been fighting in South Sudan's civil war, recruited by both the army and rebel forces. These numbers account for These reports are based on observations of children with armed groups, children wearing military uniforms and carrying weapons, and children undergoing military training.

Countering The Militarization of Youth

Main forms of militarization of youth in different countries - participants sharing from their context:

The United Kingdom:

  • Armed Forces Day - local towns organize events for the military inviting the public to them

  • Schools are encouraged to invite soldiers (including even inviting helicopters that land in the school courtyards to excite the children).

  • Cadet programs in schools from the age of 12 - this is all funded by the armed forces, and includes weapons trainings.

  • Military stalls in fairs and festivals

  • Long term military contract that bind people who sign them at a young age

  • Use of the centennial of WWI to bring up nostalgia and heroisation of war, as well as nostalgia to the national unity of war time.

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