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Under-18s discharge rules to change
Defence Management

The Ministry of Defence is set to make it easier for personnel under the age of 18 to leave the armed forces, it has been announced.

The move follows calls for a review of the use of younger recruits from Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR).

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan said: "Following a review of discharge policy I am pleased to announce that, for those under the age of 18, the ability to be discharged will in future be a right up to the age of 18, subject to an appropriate period of consideration or cooling off.

"My officials are currently finalising the policy details and these will be brought forward shortly in secondary legislation."

In its review of the Armed Forces Bill the JCHR also expressed concern at the government's failure to reduce minimum periods of service to match those of adult recruits. Recruits aged 18 and under are currently required to serve for up to two years longer than adults.

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