Militarisation of Youth

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This month, activists from different European countries met in London as part of a WRI training on countering youth militarisation and its gendered dimensions. During the training, activists took part in various activities exploring how military values are promoted to young people, in which ways this militarisation is gendered, and how we can plan effective strategies countering these forces. Following the training, WRI also hosted a public forum on countering youth militarisation, joined by activists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK.

Seventy years after the partition of Korea, the southern part of the peninsula experiences ever-increasing military expenditure, drawing millions of Koreans into a compulsory 21-month long military service. Despite this, the general public tends to neglect how civil society in a post-Korean War (1950-53) context has been militarised.

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

Our sister site antimili-youth.net features stories on youth militarisation and resistance to it. Follow it for inspiration and information!

Disgruntled ex-Maoist child soldiers padlock party office Underage Soldiers in German Military at Record Highs American Teens Get Israel-Style Military Training — at New York Sports Camp UK: Veterans warn young people about ‘traumatic’ army training Catalonia: Activists demand military-free educational events South Sudan: More than 17,000 children used in conflict since 2013

The 3rd International Week of Action held with events in various countries

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.

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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