Here in the so called “Developed West” our oligarch owned pro-establishment mainstream media, will spout off about the “boy soldiers” being used in some “developing” nations. They scream, horror, crime against humanity, and so it is. However they are rather quiet on the UK's boy soldiers. Recent figures show that in the last 5 years or so the number of boys aged 16 being recruited in to the UK army has grown considerably. The Ministry of Defence, (or should that be of War?) has released figures that show that last year 1,400, 16-year-old's were recruited into the army. This amounts to 17.4% of all of all new recruits, up from 12.7% last year. The Ministry of Defence, (that euphemism again,) has admitted that under 18-year-old's have been sent into combat areas since 2007, also 15, 17-year-old's were sent to Iraq between 2003 and 2005, and that 36 teenage UK soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. How many have been injured and miamed for life, how many will suffer mental health problems because of their eperiences?
Of course they will say that those poor boy soldiers in Africa etc. were abducted, forced, coerced into the army, while our brave young lads volunteered. Can it truly be called volunteering when you are faced with no further education options, unemployment or at best some crap low paid job. Then along comes a smiling recruiting team who offer you training, education, a trade, travel, a wage, plus accommodation? It seems a good option, because you are not told the truth, once you sign on the dotted line you your travel consists of a trip to Afghanistan, Iraq or some other imperialist resource grab, laying your life on the line for some corporate body who will make billions from your efforts.
These are kids, just out of school and in most cases from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. You don't see many 16-year-old's from the well-heeled brigade volunteering for the army, oh no, their kids are destined for university and a well paid job with a house in the leafy suburbs.
This is just one of the many injustices that pass as fair and just in this corrupt capitalist system. What civilised society would allow its kids to leave school at 16, be handed a weapon then trained to kill? What's more, the hypocritical stance, that they are volunteering. Ill informed, mislead, and desperate, kids cannot make an informed choice, they are being used.