Here are some key talking points about the HR1219/SR955 resolution supporting the rights of the child and ways in which you can get involved....
What Does the Resolution Accomplish?
This resolution urges the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia
schools to safeguard the rights of children under the age 17 from military
recruitment and to implement basic safeguards for recruitment of 17-yearolds
Specifically, the resolution encourages Georgia:
1. To comply with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, ratified by the
U.S. Senate in 2002 and signed by President Bush;
2. To cease current programs and activities and refrain from future programs
designed to recruit children under the age of 17 into the military;
3. To implement basic safeguards for recruitment of 17-year-olds by requiring
that military recruitment activities be genuinely voluntary and carried out
with the consent of the child’s parents or guardians; and
4. To actively provide students and parents with exemption forms and
information regarding exemption forms that prohibit schools from disclosing
students' records to military recruiters as required by the No Child Left
Why is this Resolution Necessary?
• Increased pressure to recruit during wartime has led to abusive recruitment
in violation of the Optional Protocol. Wartime enlistment quotas have placed
increased pressure on military recruiters to fill the ranks of the armed services.
The added strain of fulfilling enlistment quotas necessary to carry out sustained
U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan without reinstituting a draft
has contributed to a rise in aggressive recruitment efforts and documented
misconduct and abuse by recruiters, in contravention of the Optional Protocol.
• Documented misconduct by recruiters, including coercion, deception and
false promises nullify the voluntariness of youths’ recruitment. This resolution
will combat these practices and ensure that any recruitment of 17-year-olds is
• Leading by Example – The United States serves as a role model for democracy
and human rights throughout the world, and has participated in programs
abroad that prevent the recruitment of child soldiers. America and Georgia
must continue to lead by example.
• Legal Obligation – The United States Senate ratified the Optional Protocol to
the Convention on the Rights of the Child, thus, obligating the States,
including Georgia, to comply with the Optional Protocol.
Here are a few ways you can plug in:
1.) To support this resolution call your Representative and urge them to support HR 1219, if they are a Georgia Representative, and SR955 if they are your Senator. To find out who your Representatives are in the house and senate are go to the VoteSmart website -http://www.votesmart.org/ - in the upper left-hand corner there is a field where you- can enter your 5-digit zip code.
2.) Write your senator or congressman a letter. Here is a sample letter:
Dear (the name of your senator or congressman),
My name is (your name) and I am writing this letter to ask for your vote in favor of HR1219/SR955. I am a concerned (student/mother/veteran/community member) who supports this resolution against the recruitment of youth under the age of 17 for the military and think that safeguards should be implemented for the recruitment of 17-year-olds. During wartime there is increased pressure for military recruiters to recruit our youth. This pressure can lead to abusive military recruitment that is in violation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United States serves as role model for democracy and human rights throughout the world, and has participated in programs abroad that prevent the recruitment of child soldiers. America and Georgia must lead by example and this is why I encourage you to support HR1219/SR955.
Feel free to personalize this letter with your personal experiences and opinions. Here is a link for some tips on how to write a letter to legislators. http://www.writeexpress.com/Write-Congress.html
3.) Meet with your senator or congressman. To do so all you have to do is call their office and ask to set up and appointment. For the most effective meeting we recommend taking some one from the affected community to meet with your representative. This could include someone under the age of 17 who has been targeted by military recruiters, a parent concerned about their child’s safety and privacy, a veteran who has experienced the effects of war.
4.) Sign our online petition supporting this resolution at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/GA-Says-No-To-Using-Schools-For-Military-Recruitment-of-Minors
The only way this Resolution will make an impact is with your help. Please contact me if you have the time and energy to devote to organizing in your community.