House of Commons
EDM #905
Tabled 06 February 2018
2017-19 Session
That this House recognises International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers on 12 February 2018; understands that fewer than 20 countries worldwide still allow their armed forces to recruit young people aged 16; further understands that the UK is the only country in Europe and the only Permanent Member of the UN Security Council to recruit 16 year olds into the armed forces; notes that the British armed forces recruit around 2,000 16 and 17-year olds each year, of whom 80 per cent join the Army; further notes that young recruits are more likely than civilians of the same age or older enlistees to drink heavily, self-harm and suffer mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder; further recognises the criticisms of the UK's policy by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the House of Commons Defence Committee, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Children's Commissioners for the four jurisdictions of the UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission; notes the work of Child Soldiers International, both in the UK and worldwide, advocating for children to enjoy their human rights, free from military use and exploitation; and urges the Government to launch a review of the minimum armed forces enlistment age.

Signatures (24)

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