Challenging the Militarisation of Youth Event in Glasgow


Tuesday 28 April

18:30 – 20:30

Mary Barbour Suite in the Pearce Institute,
840-860 Govan Road,
G51 3UU

We are reaching new levels of militarisation of youth in the UK and Scotland. The Ministry of Defence have ramped up their recruitment efforts in the last few years. The most recent overall figures show that the military made 11,000 visits to schools in the UK in the academic year 2011-12, as opposed to just 1000 in 2008; more recent regional data show that a far higher proportion of state schools are visited than private schools, some receiving over 20 visits in a two-year period, and schools in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are visited disproportionately more than schools in England, based on population.

There has also been a surge in the number of state school Combined Cadet Forces, as part of the Department for Education’s Military Ethos in Schools programme. Most recently, the Prime Minister’s Office and MOD have created ‘The British Armed Forces: Learning Resource 2014’, an extremely biased document targeting 5-16 year olds, which the Department for Education promoted in an email to every school in the country. The armed forces do not just ‘engage’ with schools and colleges to recruit children and young adults; the other main rationale is to ‘provide positive information to influence future opinion formers’.

This is an invitation to an event exploring the military’s engagement with young people in Scotland. It will feature:

Owen Everett, Education Campaign worker at ForcesWatch* giving a report on armed forces visits to schools in Scotland;

Ben Griffin, ex-SAS soldier from Veterans For Peace UK** speaking on Recruitment and the Militarisation of Youth;

There will also be a screening of the short film ‘Engage: the military and young people’, which was made by teenagers.

The UK military spends millions of pounds each year on its ‘youth engagement’ programme, including around 11,000 armed forces visits to state secondary schools and colleges, and huge Cadet Forces. These initiatives concern many people, particularly given that the two main aims of them are recruitment into the armed forces – which carries much higher risks for the youngest, most disadvantaged recruits (the UK is the only country in the EU that recruits 16 year-olds into the armed forces) – and to give children a positive view towards the armed forces that they will carry into adulthood.

On April 29th we will host a workshop to discuss what action we can take forward on these issues! 6:30pm. Destination TBC. For more details please contact

*ForcesWatch is a small not-for-profit organisation based in London that critically scrutinises the ethical basis of the recruitment of young people into the UK armed forces, and the growing presence and influence of the military and military approaches in different areas of UK society (especially the education system), raising concerns as to whose best interests these are really in.

**Veterans For Peace UK is an anti-war ex-services organisation that;
1. Educates on the true nature of military service and war.
2. Resists war and militarism through nonviolent action.
3. Stands in solidarity with people affected by militarism and war.
Their ultimate aim is the abolition of war as an instrument of foreign policy.

The event is FREE, but please book a place at

These workshops are organised by Resist Militarism Network, with the support of the Centre for Human Ecology, Forces Watch and Veterans For Peace.

Forces Watch Report:

The British Armed Forces Learning Resource 2014 can be viewed in full at:

1 Comment

  1. David Marchesi says:

    it is quite appalling that this issue has not featured in the electioneering extravaganza.
    Maybe the Greens have some candidates ready to denounce the awful sell-out of real patriotism and of our forefathers from the world wars , who fought militarism.
    As the old soldiers used to say re their superior (often VERY superior !) officers NIL CARBORUNDUM ILLEGITIMATI !!
    For our children and grandchildren we must try to make an issue of this baleful process – tied in, of course, with the arms dealers who profit enormously from human suffering and use our name to sell their instruments of death.

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