Military Recruiting inside the US: In Violation of UN Law on Rights of the Child
September 17, 2018 Pat Elder / Pat Elder for Congress & The Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Centers
As a candidate for Congress, I call on the US to join the clear majority of the nations in the world in setting 18 as the absolute minimum age for military recruitment. Currently, 10% of US recruits are 17 year-olds. The UN has put the US on notice regarding US failure to abide by the treaty. The complaints below were adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
UN and Military Recruiting in the US Pat Elder / Pat Elder for Congress
It's time for a national dialogue on this issue.
The Pentagon will lie, steal, cheat, forge, hide, and deal
to get a kid to sign up. Adhering to international law
would make it impossible to recruit
enough soldiers for the bloated military.
-- Pat Elder
(September 16, 2018) -- I've earned a degree of national notoriety on issues related to military recruiting. My book, Military Recruiting in the United States, describes how the US goes about recruiting youth into its armed forces. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed me after the Parkland shooting because Nik Cruz learned how to shoot through his participation in the Army's JROTC program in his high school.
Inside the US Military Recruitment Program That
Trained Nikolas Cruz to Be "A Very Good Shot" Democracy Now! (February 21, 2018)
Florida Gunman Nikolas Cruz Knew How to Use a Gun,
Thanks to the NRA and the US Army Democracy Now! (February 23, 2018)
American military recruiting is an ugly story, while getting youth to sign up has never been tougher for the Pentagon. And now, President Trump has called for significant increases in the military forces. After 17 years of war and somewhat better economic conditions, only a tiny fraction of American youth want to join.
It's time for a national dialogue on this issue. The Pentagon will lie, steal, cheat, forge, hide, and deal to get a kid to sign up. Adhering to international law would make it impossible to recruit enough soldiers for the bloated military.
I've worked with Child Soldiers International and I've had my language regarding American recruiting abuses inserted into a UN report that points a finger at the US for failure to adhere to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts.
Actually, it's been pointed out to me by US officials that the US has never actually violated the treaty! They say the US signed the treaty in 2002 but made this serious reservation, "The United States assumes no obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child by becoming a party to the Protocol."
This is the way America rolls. The US signs treaties with no intention of abiding by them. And now, National Security Advisor John Bolton, who brings the presence of Attila the Hun to the international stage, is denouncing the International Criminal Court because it is mulling an investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan.
Just who are the international criminals?
Sorry, I got off track.
As a candidate for Congress, I call on the US to join the clear majority of the nations in the world in setting 18 as the absolute minimum age for military recruitment. Currently, 10% of US recruits are 17 year-olds. For a little background, see Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts.
In brief, the treaty calls for youth under the age of 18 years to be entitled to special protection. The UN wants to make sure that:
1. Recruitment is not forced or coerced.
2. Recruitment is carried out with the informed consent of the person's parents or legal guardians;
3. Such persons are fully informed of the duties involved in such military service.
I've worked on this issue for a generation. It is not happening in the United States of America.
The UN has put the US on notice regarding US failure to abide by the treaty. The complaints below were adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its sixty-second session (14 January–5 2013) regarding the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
See Concluding Observations Section IV.
The rest of the world is telling the US to clean up its act. These are their demands: * Ensure that schools, parents and pupils are made aware of the voluntary nature of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) before consenting to the participation into it; * Abolish the recruiter quota system; * Ensure that military recruiter access to school grounds is limited; * Prohibit disclosure of information on students without prior parental consent; * Strengthen monitoring and oversight of recruiter irregularities and misconduct by effective investigation, imposition of sanctions and when necessary, prosecution of recruiter misconduct; * Demand that 17 year-olds not be deployed to "hazardous duty pay" (HDP) or "imminent danger pay"(IDP) have been granted where they can be requested to perform inherently dangerous duties and may be at risk of indirect or direct participation in hostilities; * Insure that children are properly informed that enrolment into the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program is voluntary; * End the practice of substituting JROTC programs for core curricular classes; * Cease weapons training associated with the JROTC Program.
The UN knows what's going on here. I've spent some time making sure of it.
This campaign < href="https://donate.democracyengine.com/ElderforCongress/contribute">needs cash to keep going. So far, my opponent Steny Hoyer has raked in $6.6 million from corporations, while we've managed to raise in $6.6 thousand from individuals. (100:1).
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Pat Elder is the Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. He's the author of Military Recruiting in the United States.
Tools for Recruiting Kinds into US Military Military Recruiting in the United States, a new book by Pat Elder, provides a fearless and penetrating description of the deceptive practices of the US military as it recruits American youth into the armed forces.
The long-time antiwar activist exposes the underworld of American military recruiting in this explosive and consequential book. The book describes how recruiters manage to convince youth to enlist. It details a sophisticated psy-ops campaign directed at children.
Elder describes how the military encourages first-person shooter games and places firearms into the hands of thousands using the schools, its JROTC programs, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program to inculcate youth with a reverence for guns. Previously unpublished investigative work reveals how indoor shooting ranges in schools are threatening the health of children and school staff through exposure to lead particulate matter.
The book examines the disturbing, nurturing role of the Catholic Church in recruiting youth. It surveys the wholesale military censorship of Hollywood films, pervasive military testing in the high schools, and an explosion of military programs directed toward youth.