23 May 2016

The British Institute of Human Rights has joined a range of groups, coordinated by Child Soldiers International, calling on the UK Ministry of Defence to stop recruiting children under the age of 18. This is in line with the recommendations of the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child. The letter points out that the UK is the only country in Europe to allow enlistment from age 16 – most countries worldwide now only allow adults from age 18 to join military forces, recognising that enlistment at younger ages is not appropriate in modern armed forces.  

The letter has been made public on the same day that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child begins its examination of the UK’s record on child rights.  The last time the UK appeared before the Committee, in 2008, it was urged to raise the enlistment age to 18.  

Read the Open Letter to the Ministry of Defence here

Read the Press Release from Child Soldiers International, including findings from recent research, here.

Find out more about the UK’s examination on child rights at the UN, being reviewed today, here.