August 2019This report from the Child Rights International Network, Conscription by poverty? Deprivation and army recruitment in the UK, states that the UK is the only country in Europe to recruit from age 16 and more soldiers are recruited at 16 than any other age.
A network of organisations opposing the militarization of schools and young people in the USA.
June 2019Should the armed forces encourage young people to interact with weapons and military vehicles? Our new web resource looks at why is this happening and asks if it is right and how can it be challenged?
The Warrior Nation podcast is a deep dive into military affairs and the relationship between defence, the armed forces and civil society in modern Britain, produced and edited by ForcesWatch.
May 2019In this written submission to the Defence Committee's inquiry into the work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, we focus on how issues with the complaints system may affect the youngest serving personnel in the armed forces, particularly those under 18 years old, and recommend that the youngest members of the armed forces are considered as a distinct group in relation to the functioning of the service complaints system.
March 2019In this lecture Professor Paul Higate from the University of Bath looks at the ways in which ‘British values’ have helped to obscure the militarised character of the nation, which is evident in its long history of the use of military violence abroad. Paul draws upon his service in the RAF to discuss the British Army’s recruitment campaign ‘This is Belonging’, the Home Office instigated ‘hostile environment’ and the racialised character of social policy more broadly. Read the lecture transcript.
March 2019At the launch event for our report with Medact on Selling the Military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK, contributors and participants told us why they think this is an important issue. And a longer film of the presentation summarising the report.
updated 2019Contact your MP, other political representative or local union or political branch about the military involvement in education and raising the age of military recruitment.
March 2019For discussion in union or party branches and councils etc. The motion calls for oversight and regulation of military activities in schools, including for careers and curriculum purposes, and for military-themed activities or perspectives to be balanced by activities focusing on peace and human rights. It also calls for activities run by arms companies in schools to cease.
February 2019This report, written by ForcesWatch and published with the public health charity Medact, analyses the way the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people, creating powerful messages that which exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and well-being of recruits. Narratives of camaraderie and self-development also serve to promote an uncontroversial and depoliticised idea of the military more widely which promote self-fulfilment in the context of conflict.
2018A film about recent militarism and the battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the UK. The film follows the stories of Ben Griffin, former SAS soldier and founder of Veterans for Peace UK, and Quaker activist Sam Walton, and features the work of ForcesWatch and partner organisations. See war.school and related learning resources.
In the run up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June we provide background information on how this and other public events are part of a concerted effort to increase general support for the military amongst the public, stifle criticism and recruit young people. We list events that challenge the militarism of Armed Forces Day with messages of peace and resistance.
updated August 2018We have teamed up with the Peace Pledge Union to produce a White Poppy Schools Pack, which aims to explore Remembrance in a way that encourages critical thinking, and gives space for marginalised perspectives on war and peace. The learning resource can be read online here, or purchased from the Peace Pledge Union as a bigger pack including white poppies and white poppy leaflets.