news, info, resources

Recent news & articles

25/07/2018 ForcesWatch press release The Defence Select Committee recommended that the Ministry of Defence ‘conducts or commissions further research into female personnel, early Service leavers and recruits under 18 to determine the extent to which they are at higher risk of developing mental health conditions.’
25/06/2018 A new report by a leading defence academic reveals how a 'militarisation offensive' – which began in 2006 to create support for the Afghan war - has increased the military's influence on British politics and society. (2)
08/06/2018 The Guardian The British army has targeted recruitment material at “stressed and vulnerable” 16-year-olds via social media on and around GCSE results day, the Guardian can reveal.
04/06/2018 With the publication of the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee report on our petition on armed forces visits to schools, there has been substantial coverage in the news.
04/06/2018 ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland press release (1) Quakers in Scotland and ForcesWatch welcome the recommendations made in a report from the Scottish Parliament about armed forces activities in schools.
15/05/2018 The Guardian Drive to fast-track late joiners at AFC Harrogate led to issues including skewing staff/student ratios in dangerous activities.

latest resources

August 2018

These presentations were recorded at the launch of the report Warrior Nation: war, militarisation and British democracy by Paul Dixon (published by ForcesWatch) on 25 June 2018 in London:  

  • Warrior Nation: war, militarisation and British democracy, by Professor Paul Dixon   
  • Military Britain by Professor Joanna Bourke
  • Militarism in public life in the UK, Emma Sangster, Coordinator of ForcesWatch

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This report explores how the 'Militarisation Offensive' which started in 2006 to improve public recognition and support for the armed forces.failed to produce majority support for the war in Afghanistan but deepened the militarisation of British politics and society. Since 2006 the military have broken constitutional convention and made public attacks on politicians, leading to the most severe tensions in political-military relations since the Second World War.

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April 2018

This submission made by ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament's human rights inquiry details our concerns around the need for regulation and transparent accountability of military activities in schools, the lack of education about peace and human rights, and the continued recruitment of children into the UK armed forces.

We refer to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child for change in the UK's policy and practice, and support for our concerns by child rights organisations. We make a number of recommendations regarding how the Scottich Parliament can more vigorously support childrens rights in Scotland.

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March 2018

Our security image

ForcesWatch are working with the Rethinking Security network and Quakers in Britain to develop educational materials in schools on the theme of 'our security'.

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March 2018

Written evidence submitted by ForcesWatch to the Defence Committee's Armed Forces and Veterans Mental Health Inquiry.

We conclude that:

More independent research, in anonymised conditions, needs to be carried out in a number of areas, including:

  • The relationship between early enlistment (especially junior entry), prior vulnerabilities such as socio-economic disadvantage, and short and long-term health impacts.
  • The connection between military training and mental ill-health.
  • Developmental issues that affect adolescents in particular, for example in assessing and appreciating long-term risk and making an informed decision to enlist.
  • Moral injury and how issues of conscience impact mental health.

Steps should be taken to improve legal procedures by which claims of harassment and bullying are investigated and incidents are reported within the military.

In order to avoid mental health risks to young soldiers, junior entry recruitment of those under 18 should end. There needs to be greater understanding about pre-enlistment risk factors for psychological ill-health such as socio-economic disadvantage and childhood adversity, and a consequent shift away from recruitment marketing that targets vulnerable groups.

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February 2018

Written evidence submitted by ForcesWatch to the Education Committee's Alternative Provision Inquiry

This submission briefly outlines 'alternative provision with a military ethos' and details a number of concerns - relative effectiveness, targeting disadvantage, lack of consultation and lack of scrutiny.

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November 2017

This ForcesWatch briefing analyses data on armed forces visits to schools in Scotland for 2016-17.

Main findings:

  • 770 visits were made by the armed forces to schools in Scotland between April 16 and March 17, including a small number to primary schools and special schools.
  • The Army made 58% of all visits.
  • 68% of state secondary schools are visited in one year, some many times.
  • Three-quarters (75.5%) of visits are promoting a career in the armed forces.
  • State schools are visited far more than independent schools, even taking into account that they are far larger in number.  

The briefing provides an update to our report Armed Forces Visits to Schools in Scotland

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October 2017

ForcesWatch have teamed up with Quaker Peace & Social Witness to produce a resource pack to help people take action on militarism in their communities. And there is a new website to go with it where you can downlaod the pack or order a hard copy, find links to more resources etc.

 

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