-- Justice et injustices --
Publié le 28/09/08 10:53 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00
When the Manx Nationalist Party, Mec Vannin, recently repeated its opposition to the active promotion of military recruitment in Island schools, their stance predictably was rejected by the Isle of Man Department of Education.
New allegations about the bullying and abuse of young recruits, at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, highlighted by the BBC this week may however give the Department of Education pause for thought. Recruits were allegedly subjected to ill-treatment and abuse during which they were punched, kicked, urinated on and had loaded weapons thrust into their face.
The United Nations definition of 'a child' is any young person under eighteen. That being the case the Department of Education have a duty of care towards young people which includes ensuring that before that age they are not actively encouraged to seek a career in any organisation where they may be exposed to abuse or harm.
The BBC revelations are only the most recent in a series of concerns about the way that young people are treated by the British military. The still unresolved tragedy of the deaths of several young people at the Deepcut Barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002 are a poignant reminder of where bullying and abuse, such as that now alleged at Catterick, may lead. Two of those who died at Deepcut barracks were just 17 years old and another just past her 18th birthday. The families of those who died at Deepcut suspect the recruits may have been murdered, or driven to suicide by bullying, and they have repeatedly pressed for a public inquiry.
If the Isle of Man government continues to facilitate the recruitment of its young people into an environment where they may suffer harm via bullying and abuse then they clearly are in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and also the Optional Protocol to the Convention. The practice may also be in breach of Convention 182 of the International Labour Organisation.
See related articles on Celtic News at:
J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League 20/09/08