Blair sends British child soldiers to Iraq war


Child soldiers, cartoon

From The Scotsman:

UK guilty of sending ‘child soldiers‘ to Iraq

JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL EDITOR (jkirkup@scotsman.com)

BRITAIN broke a United Nations treaty banning the use of child soldiers by sending underage troops – including 17-year-old girls – to Iraq, it has been revealed.

The Ministry of Defence has admitted that army commanders were put under pressure by successive deployments to Iraq and as a result broke international rules by sending soldiers who had not yet reached their 18th birthday.

The revelation is likely to reignite debate about the armed forces’ recruitment of those young enough to be at school.

Britain in 2003 ratified the UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

The treaty obliges signatories to take “all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities”.

Reaction by Rose Gentle, whose soldier son died in Iraq: here.

Soldiers’ families peace camp: here.

Scottish teachers ban army recruiters: here.

8 thoughts on “Blair sends British child soldiers to Iraq war

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