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Military Recruitment in Welsh Schools

The Unitarians have added their support to a Wales-wide campaign to end the right of the Armed Forces to recruit inside schools.

On June 1 st , Cardiff Unitarians attended a meeting of several NGOs including Cymdeithas y Cymod (The Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales), the United Nations Association (UNA Wales) and CND Cymru . At the meeting, the following, formal petition to the National Assembly for Wales was launched:

“We call on the National Assembly of Wales to urge the Welsh Government to legislate to stop the armed forces from going into schools in Wales to recruit children to join.”

The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly will be obliged to give due consideration to the petition, which closes on October 24 th this year. At the Presiding Officer's discretion, the petition could then be considered in more detail by the National Assembly . The Unitarian Welsh department hopes to boost the petition’s numbers by making it available to the public at its stall at the National Eisteddfod of Wales (August 4-11).

Dewi Owen, Development Officer for Cardiff Unitarians , said:

“We challenge the National Assembly , and the Welsh Government, to stand up to the Ministry of Defence on this issue. All we are calling for is for parity with most other European countries, where the armed forces are not permitted to recruit within school premises.”

Carwyn Tywyn, Secretary of the Unitarian Welsh Department, said:

“On behalf of Unitarians in Wales, I am very pleased to support Cymdeithas y Cymod’s petition to the National Assembly. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has already requested that the UK considers ending the recruitment of children aged 16 to the armed forces. It has also requested that the UK Armed Forces does not target children from ethnic and deprived backgrounds. We expect the UK to respond positively to this request.”