Militarisation of Youth

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On 26-28 May, activists from Greece, Israel, Russia, Turkey, and Cyprus (both south and north) gathered in Nicosia (Cyprus) for a 3-day training, Gender and Countering Youth Militarisation, organised by War Resisters' International. During the training, participants explored gendered dimensions of youth militarisation within their societies as well as discussing how to work internationally to counter these processes.

Each month, we are featuring a different WRI affiliate. This month it's WRI's new affiliate Peace Educators Allied for Children Everywhere (P.E.A.C.E.) from the USA. Established in 1979, P.E.A.C.E is an activist group of early childhood educators- preschool and kindergarten teachers, family child care providers, early childhood students and college professors, and family members.

PEACE was founded over 30 years ago as Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment. The Safe Environment being the classroom and the world. We have worked against war toys and for the War Toy Boycott, we have talked to teachers about violent play in the classroom, we have drawn up curriculum for on how-to teacher children about native American tribes which is anti-bias and inclusive, we have supported the growth of peace camps for young children to learn conflict resolution skills.

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 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.

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.

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