The 2017 Leicester Charter on the reduction of the militarisation of young people (as amended in May 2018)
We are people of all faiths and none.

We are concerned that young people are growing up in a society that glorifies violence and in which violence is shown as the only way to resolve conflict. This is evident on television, in film, through video games and by the Government’s use of military force.

We appreciate that in families we have long outlawed violent control and recognise that for young people to grow into confident, thoughtful and caring adults they need to be nurtured and provided with positive role models.

We are concerned at the increasing presence of the army in schools and in Humberstone Gate where the army shows off its big trucks and helicopters. We object to this normalisation of violence in our city centres and in our schools.

May 15th is Conscientious Objectors Day when we remember the thousands of people, past and present who have refused to fight and kill.

Every year on this day we will review the charter and look for the next step.

In 2017 we were successful in getting the army to stop children under the age of enlistment handling guns in the city centre and to give good notice of their presence there. However this needs regular monitoring.

In 2018 we hope to achieve the following regarding schools:

-- that a report is published, following consultation with head teachers, with recommendations about achieving balance to military presence in schools including military STEM initiatives, and

-- that 3 secondary schools in Leicester encourage debate about the reality of life in the armed forces and the military response to conflict.

Young people matter. They are the future.

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