German Army under fire for targeting teens

Posted on September 20, 2012


The German Army has been accused of unethical recruitment practices, after it placed ads in a teen magazine promising “crazy water battles” and flights “in a real army plane” at its “Adventure Camps” that encourage youngsters to join the army.

The colorful adverts, showing smiling young teens, were published online and in the printed edition of Bravo, Germany’s most popular teen magazine. Under the slogan “Action, Adrenaline Adventure!” the German army, known as the Bundeswehr, is offering paid-for trips to Sardinia and the Alps for underage teens, where they are told about a possible career in the army once they come of age

The reaction has been swift

“This misleading advertisement in youth media violates the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the particular duty a government has to protect children,” said Ralf Willinger, a children’s rights consultant at Terre des Hommes.

“The armed forces should be limited to recruiting adults, so that they do not attract young people who are easily influenced and can hardly appreciate what an obligation military service and the related foreign missions can entail.”

Legally, the Bundeswehr cannot recruit people under the age of 18.


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