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.

 

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David Gee

Ask a teacher what her purpose is and how she goes about it, and you can expect a simple answer: she supports young people to grow by teaching them things. We know why we need bakers, too; they feed people by baking us bread. So what are soldiers[2] for?

WRI's work on Countering the Militarisation of Youth is also a key part of the Right to Refuse to Kill programme, a natural extension to our work on counter-recruitment and conscientious objection. This work has had a really exciting time recently.

Around the world children, adolescents, and young adults encounter the military and military values in a variety of ways, from visits to schools by military personnels, to video games and the presence of the military and its symbols in public places. Young people are encouraged to see the military as necessary and valuable; something to be supportive of, not to question.

Here you can find and download the data from a survey conducted as part of the research for the compilation of 'Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation Of Youth And How To Counter It'.

The survey was conducted between over 2012/2013, with at least two respondents from each country.

Data available:

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