Friday, December 5, 2008

MILITARY RECRUITING VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL CHILD LAW

Global Research - In violation of its pledge to the United Nations not to recruit children into the military, the Pentagon "regularly target(s) children under 17," the American Civil Liberties Union says.

The Pentagon "heavily recruits on high school campuses, targeting students for recruitment as early as possible and generally without limits on the age of students they contact," the ACLU states in a 46-page report titled "Soldiers of Misfortune."

This is in violation of the U.S. Senate's 2002 ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Pentagon recruiters are enrolling children as young as 14 in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in 3,000 middle-, junior-, and high schools nationwide, causing about 45 percent of the quarter of million students so enrolled to enlist, a rate much higher than in the general student population. Clearly, this is the outcome of underage exposure.

In some cities, such as Los Angeles, high school administrators have been enrolling reluctant students involuntarily in JROTC as an alternative to overcrowded gym classes. In Buffalo, N.Y., the entire incoming freshman class at Hutchinson Central Technical High School, (average age 14), was involuntarily enrolled in JROTC. In Chicago, graduating eighth graders (average age 13) are allowed to join any of 45 JROTC programs. . .

The Pentagon also spends about $6 million a year to flog an online video game called "America's Army" to attract children as young as 13, "train them to use weapons, and engage in virtual combat and other military missions…learn how to fire realistic Army weapons such as automatic rifles and grenade launchers and learn how to jump from airplanes," the ACLU reports. As of Sept., 2006, 7.5 million users were registered on the game's website, which is linked to the Army's main recruiting website.

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