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.

 

By Prof. Mary Elizabeth King, first published on Waging Nonviolence

One of the most extraordinary nonviolent, transnational movements of the modern age was the women’s suffrage movement of the first two decades of the 20th century. New Zealand first extended the franchise in the late 19th century—after two decades of organizing efforts. As the new century began, women’s suffrage movements gained strength in China, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), and Vietnam. Another 20 years and women were enfranchised in countries around the world, from Uruguay to Austria, the Netherlands to Turkey, and Germany to the United States. Few if any of those leading the campaigns for the ballot for women would have identified their approach as one of nonviolent action, nor would they have known its philosophical underpinnings or strategic wisdom. Like most who have turned to civil resistance, they did so because it was a direct method not reliant on representatives or agencies and a practical way to oppose an intolerable situation.

Militarism's New Sexy

Placheolder image

By Elisa Haf

There’s a certain kind of sexy that militarism has always enjoyed, or supposed sexy anyway: women love a man in uniform, right? He’s got a big gun, so.

War Resisters' International is organizing the 2nd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth this year from 14-20 November. The week is a call for nonviolent actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarized, and to give voice to alternatives.

Last year saw the first ever international Week of Action whose main focus was education and research. Many groups in various countries including Canada, Germany, South Korea, the state of Spain, the USA, Israel and the UK took action to call for an end to the military's role in education and research. This year we are expanding our theme from education to all other public spaces where we see military engagement with young people.

We invite all groups and individuals willing to take action as part of this week and contact us via cmoy@wri-irg.org.

Read more...

There will be many changes in the WRI office this year. Firstly, we say goodbye to Javier Gárate after ten years working in the office. There will be a chance to say goodbye and thank you to Javier next month! Taking over from Javier as WRI's Nonviolence Programme Worker in mid-February will be Andrew Dey.

Also for the first time, thanks to support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, we are able to appoint a part-time staff person dedicated to the Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme, which up until now has been part of the Right to Refuse to Kill Programme. Semih Sapmaz will be starting 2 days/week in the WRI office from February. We will be fundraising to ensure this role continues beyond the one year we have already funded.

The first ever international week of action for military-free education and research was held between 25-31 October 2014. This follows on from a day of action last year. Antimilitarists across the world took action to raise awareness, and challenge, the role the military has in education and research in educational institutions. This role gives them access to young people - to lay the groundwork for recruitment later in life, and to promote military values.

Different groups used the week of action in different ways. Some challenged military presence in schools through direct action, some publicly debated the presence of the military in education, others showed films, wrote articles, and campaigned on social media.

Applications have reopened for the positions of Nonviolence Programme Worker and Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker.

Information for both positions can be found on our website:

Nonviolence Programme Worker Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker

We look forward to receiving applications from people committed to nonviolence, with fundraising skills (or willingness to learn) and experience of nonviolent campaigning. Applicants should have knowledge of English and another language, and be willing to travel. All applicants should feel able to sign the WRI declaration: 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'. Full job descriptions and application forms can be found on the respective adverts.

The closing date for applications for both roles is 23 November, midnight (UTC).

Please share the job adverts with your contacts, and write to info@wri-irg.org with any questions.

This week we've seen a military space conference disrupted at a University in Canada, a rally, lectures and info stalls in Germany, a film screening and fourm in Seoul, publications on youth militarisation, a vigil in London, and many other activities, all part of the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research. Find a list here. Please share news of the week on social media by using #milifreeedu. For the week of action, WRI and other organisations have issued this call to action: War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation!

Read more...

 

During this, the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research, WRI and other organisations have issued this call to action: War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation!


From the moment we are born, children and young people all over the world are exposed to the military and military values around them. They are taught that armed force and violence can solve problems.

We call this the militarisation of youth.

In some countries, this militarisation is visible and obvious: young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. This might include forced recruitment, or recruitment of children.

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