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Thread: UK guilty of sending 'child soldiers' to Iraq

  1. #1
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    UK guilty of sending 'child soldiers' to Iraq

    UK guilty of sending 'child soldiers' to Iraq

    JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL EDITOR (jkirkup@scotsman.com)

    BRITAIN broke a United Nations treaty banning the use of child soldiers by sending underage troops - including 17-year-old girls - to Iraq, it has been revealed.


    The Ministry of Defence has admitted that army commanders were put under pressure by successive deployments to Iraq and as a result broke international rules by sending soldiers who had not yet reached their 18th birthday.

    The revelation is likely to reignite debate about the armed forces' recruitment of those young enough to be at school.

    Britain in 2003 ratified the UN's Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

    The treaty obliges signatories to take "all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities".

    But the MoD has now admitted that during the first two years of the war in Iraq, 15 British service personnel aged 17 served in the country. As many as four of the 17-year-olds who did so were female.

    Under military rules introduced after the ratification of the UN protocol, commanders may only deploy those under 18 in exceptional circumstances.

    "Unfortunately, these processes are not infallible and the pressures on units prior to deployment have meant that there has been a small number of instances where soldiers have been inadvertently deployed to Iraq before their 18th birthday," the MoD said.

    The forces - and the army in particular - are stepping up their recruitment work among the young as they struggle to maintain their numbers. Last year, over 14,000 people left the army and only 12,000 joined.

    Teenagers are by far the largest recruiting group for the military. Last year, 2,760 new recruits to the three armed services were aged 16, and 3,415 were 17. By contrast, there were only 980 recruits aged 23 and 160 aged 28.


    Part of the hiring drive has seen an increase in the number of recruitment events in schools, something that has proved especially controversial in Scotland.

    Last year, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the number of regimental recruitment visits to Scottish schools has risen more than tenfold. There were 14 visits in 2003/04 and 153 in 2005/06.

    The army can only visit schools to recruit when the local authority gives permission, and the Scottish National Party has been campaigning for such permission to be withdrawn.

    Rose Gentle, of Military Families Against the War, called for a ban on recruiting under-18s. "They're still kids - they don't know what they really want to do with their lives," she said.
    The Scotsman - Scotland - UK guilty of sending 'child soldiers' to Iraq
    Is this report true?

    This is extraordinary that the moralist Blair govt could allow this faux pas when in actuality this UN restriction was introduced to curb the Africans from employing all and sundry and children in their frequent wars and coups!

    Good thing that this is no longer in vogue!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

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  2. #2
    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Is this report true?

    This is extraordinary that the moralist Blair govt could allow this faux pas when in actuality this UN restriction was introduced to curb the Africans from employing all and sundry and children in their frequent wars and coups!

    Good thing that this is no longer in vogue!
    I believe it maybe one that blewout of proportion, I could see it happening say if they were within a month or two of there 18th birthday, and were actually in a staging post or even Kuwait for example, out "of harms way"
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

  3. #3
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    It would not be allowed in India.

    I missed out because I was born just one day less than the day OK!

    I cursed the govt!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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