Child soldiers: the latest development

The Friend [18.3.11] reports that the select committee on the Armed Forces Bill heard calls from a number of groups backing an increase in the minimum age to eighteen. Last week, they sent their report to the House of Commons, supporting the government’s position that the age limit should not be changed. The bill will now be considered by the Commons as a whole. The committee was not united. One member, Labour

MP Alex Cunningham, argued strongly that recruitment of minors should be phased out. QPSW parliamentary liaison secretary Michael Bartlet described the committee’s report as a ‘missed opportunity’. The decision was also criticised by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Forces Watch and the Children’s Society

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