As posted earlier the N. Irelands Children’s Commissioner responding to our query about the military cadet forces averred that her remit did not cover them because she said:
“My founding legislation restricts my powers regarding reserved and excepted matters, including defence and armed forces, and I have copied your correspondence to the Children’s Commissioner for England who holds remit in relation to excepted matters.”
To be fair the Commissioner did however refer the points we made on to other agencies.
However we were alarmed at the suggestion that the cadets were part of the UK armed forces because this would if true place the UK in contravention of International conventions which preclude the recruitment of child soldiers.
Although the UK invests considerable monies in the Combined Cadet Forces they go to great lengths to assert the Forces are not part of the ‘armed forces’ saying they simply ‘sponsor’ them. Here’s what the UK governments own web site says;
“The CCF is not part of the UK armed forces. While adult volunteers and cadets do wear uniform, they do not incur any liability for service or compulsory training in the armed forces as a result of being a CCF member”.
So has the NICCY inadvertently ‘let the cat out of the bag’.
If so we think the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child should be informed!
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.