Motion ref. S5M-02539
Medact Report on British Armed Forces Recruitment
Submitted by: Christina McKelvie, Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Supported by: Clare Adamson, Tom Arthur, Colin Beattie, Ash Denham, Graeme Dey, Bob Doris, James Dornan, Neil Findlay, John Finnie, Ross Greer, Clare Haughey, Alison Johnstone, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Gordon MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Rona Mackay, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Pauline McNeill, Mark Ruskell, David Torrance, Sandra White, Andy Wightman
That the Parliament acknowledges the recent report from the health charity, Medact, on the recruitment of under 18s into the British armed forces; notes that the main findings of the report state that child recruits are more vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol abuse, self-harm, suicide, death and injury during an armed forces career when compared with adult recruits; considers that military recruitment marketing takes advantage of adolescent cognitive and psychosocial vulnerabilities among under 18s; further considers that the current practices for recruiting children into the armed forces do not meet the criteria for full and informed consent; believes that those recruited as children, upon turning 18, are more likely than adult recruits to end up in frontline combat roles, which carry greater risks than other roles; is dismayed to note that recruitment of children into the armed forces can start at age 15; understands that the 2007 armed forces document, Engagement with UK Schools, indicated that the main driver of armed forces visits to schools was with the purpose of recruitment; believes that this is reiterated further in the Ministry of Defence's 2011 Youth Engagement Review, and encourages members from across the Parliament, as well as those with experience of working with children and young people, to read the Medact report.