Militarisation of Youth

Our Countering the Militarisation of Youth programme identifies and challenges the many ways in which young people around the world are encouraged to accept the military and military values as normal, and worthy of their uncritical support. Militarisation is a process that goes far beyond overt recruitment. It includes the presence and influence of the armed forces in education, public military events such as parades and military-themed video games.

As part of our programme, we bring together a network of activists already working on countering youth militarisation in their own settings, and encourage more people to take action on these issues. Our activities with this aim include:

Antimili-youth.net

In August 2014 we launched a website specifically on the topic of youth militarisation. It's a place where you can add your own resources - to share documentation on how young people come into contact with the military, and how to challenge the militarisation of young people around the world. Find it here: http://www.antimili-youth.net

International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth

In June 2013, we supported groups and individuals who took action as part of the first ever International Day of Action for Military-Free Education and Research, followed in 25 - 31 October 2014 by the first week of action for Military-Free Education and Research. Since 2015, WRI has been organising the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth with the participation of various groups from across the world via their autonomous actions and events. See the reports from 2015 here, and from 2016 here.

Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter

Following our international conference on Countering the Militarisation of Youth in Darmstadt, Germany, in June 2012, we published a book based on themes explored at the conference: Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter. It is available to purchase here in English, and available to read for free here.

Gender and Countering Youth Militarisation

In 2017, thanks to the support of the Network for Social Change, we have started a new project, Gender and Countering Youth Militarisation. As part of this project, we are going to organise a number of trainings with grassroots activists from across different countries, focusing on the role of gender in our campaigns against youth militarisation. The project will also include an online resource to be out in 2018, inquiring these issues further with contributions by activists and experts in the field.

 

This Thursday (25th May), War Resisters' International is organising a webinar on conscientious objection, peace education and countering youth militarisation in South Korea. In the webinar, we will be joined by two Seoul-based activists, Hanui Choi (PEACE MOMO) and Seungho Park (World without War), who have been active within the peace movement for many years. In order to join us, register here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED50D784854B3A

This week is the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth (14-20 November). There are many actions and events, organised by groups from different countries, happening this week. Please see the list below.

The week is a concerted effort of antimilitarist actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarised, and to give voice to alternatives.

In this session, we are hoping to have a discussion on our network’s youth demilitarisation work, and the links we can build up via our Countering the Militarisation of Youth (CMoY) programme.

Below you can find a brief report on a number of CMoY programme activities that I would like to be in touch with you about.

Would you like to take action against the militarisation of youth with many others across the world?

War Resisters' International is organising the 3rd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth from 14 to 20 November this year. The week is a concerted effort of antimilitarist actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarised, and to give voice to alternatives.

If you would like to join the activists all around the world taking action against the militarisation of youth, contact us via cmoy@wri-irg.org. 

Read more here.


A new report from

ACOOC addresses recruitment to the military in Colombia, focusing on the phenomenon of arbitrary detention - usually undertaken through batidas (raids). Though batidas are banned, this report shows that, in practice, they are still common.

The report has been produced by the Acción colectiva de objetores y objetoras de conciencia (ACOOC: Conscientious Objectors' Collective Action) based on information collected in conjunction with other organisations and groups in the Proceso Distrital de Objeción de Conciencia.

In January, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the army should release Cristian Andrés Cortés Calderón. Cristian had been recruited last August, whilst he was still in his final year of high school. Students are allowed to postone military service, but Cristian was nonetheless called up. In court, Cristian's father said that Cristian also works at night in a supermarket to financially support his family. The court ordered that he be released from the military within 48 hours.

The Court however also ruled that Cristian would still be liable for conscription when his studies end.

Sources: corteconstitucional, Sentencia T-004/16, 19 January 2016; Caracol Radio, Ejército no puede reclutar a estudiantes de bachillerato así sean mayores de edad, 23 February 2016.

Activists from Peace Action Wellington (PAW) organised two days of nonviolent direct actions against the annual Weapons Conference held in New Zealand (NZ) last November. Following their peaceful protests, dozens were arrested and taken to court. 26 activists returned to court on 18 February to defend their right to peaceful demonstration. As an outcome, 25 protesters are still facing charges and were remanded to appear again on 11th March.

Originally published on WRI's antimili-youth.net website

Activists from Peace Action Wellington (PAW) organised two days of nonviolent direct actions against the annual Weapons Conference held in New Zealand (NZ) last November. Following their peaceful protests, 27 activists - 26 of whom keep fighting charges - were arrested and taken to court. On 18 February they are standing trial again, defending their right to peaceful demonstration for peace and justice.

Sending our solidarity messages to the activists in Wellington, we reached Valerie Morse from PAW and asked her about their campaign Stop the Weapons Conference as well as many other questions on militarism and the antimilitarist movement in New Zealand.

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