Letter: War is no game

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In your report "Ban on soldiers under 18 resisted by Britain and the US", Save the Children Fund is incorrectly listed among a group of agencies campaigning to raise the UK armed forces recruitment aged to 18.

Save the Children Fund believes that war is no place for a child. Worldwide, 300,000 children under 18 years of age - some as young as seven - are estimated to be fighting in armed conflict. Children under the age of 18 should never be involved in combat, and we support current international efforts to achieve this.

However, when affective safeguards are in place to prevent children entering into armed combat, Save the Children believes that 16- and 17-year-olds should be free to join the forces solely for the purposes of training and education. We are therefore urging the UK government to introduce a minimum age for active service in the British armed forces.

MIKE AARONSON

Director General

Save the Children Fund

London SE5

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