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under 16 recruit campaign

littlewoman

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#1
Some of you have probably heard the story in the news about Child Soldiers International campaigning for the MoD to raise the recruitment age to 18.
It says that those joining at 16 are twice as likely to die in conflict as those who join later.

This just didn't make sense to me so I went to the Child Soldiers International website and looked up their actual report which they seem to be drawing this statistic from

Child Soldiers International - Young age at Army enlistment is associated with greater war zone risks

Here's where the report is. I just read the summary as that contains the bit I need, the actual statistics.
In the summary itself, it says that those who join at 16 are more likely to join the infantry and more likely to serve longer. Therefore they are more likely to be in the front line (the infantry has 6 times more fatalities than other bits of the army) and more likely to do more tours.

So their own report does not say that it is their young age at joining that causes the fatalities. In fact with a much higher rate of casualties in the infantry it may even be that the under 16 recruits have much less chance of dying than those they serve beside. You might also wonder that as they serve for longer that they have settled in to the army better, although this could also be due to lack of alternatives due to lack of other qualifications or academic inclinations.


There are very serious problems in some parts of the world with children as young as 7 being forced to join militias and then used to kill and torture people. It saddens me that Child Soldiers International are putting their resources into campaigning somewhere where there isn't a problem.
 

SCT

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#2
This is the problem, agendas and the manipulation of statistics to serve a political purpose.

"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."
~ Mark Twain
 

Carl Dowd

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#3
I have little interest in this debate to be honest but I will say that to join at 16 is to lose 2 years pensionable service... so why bother..?

CD
 

boropete

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#4
pensions the last thing on your mind when your 16,getting a paypacket and doing something different where the first things on mine when i joined up at that age.
 

littlewoman

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#5
I have little interest in this debate to be honest but I will say that to join at 16 is to lose 2 years pensionable service... so why bother..?

CD
On the other hand, its also two years of earning money when you can't spend it on drink, so might put it to more use buying a car or motorbike. They can't even claim dole at that age and you only need to miss a small amount of NI contributions to lose your state pension.
I suspect most of those who join at 16 have fewer other prospects or have a bad home life, or just have always wanted to join the army. With the economy as it is, if school leavers don't have the qualifications to get into college or get an apprenticeship, the army is at least giving them some sort of career and having them do something better than hang about on the streets.
 
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