JG - British MP complains about recruitment policy
British MP complains about recruitment policy
published: Friday December 16, 2005
HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC):
A BRITISH government Member of Parliament has complained that the conscription policy of the part-time Bermuda Regiment amounts to gender discrimination and violates the European convention on human rights.
During a debate on an Armed Forces Bill in the House of Commons in London this week, Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay said compulsory national service discriminated against males.
"Unless there has been a recent change that has not been drawn to the attention of the House, Bermuda has compulsory national service for men," Mackinlay said.
Women join the regiment on a voluntary basis. Compulsory national service was ended in the United Kingdom in 1962.
"That immediately flags up to Members of the House the fact that there is gender discrimination. In addition, those who refuse to serve are not just arrested but taken in chains...in jumpsuits, and with both their feet and arms in manacles. I find that humiliating, and it is contrary to our obligations, particularly under the European convention on human rights," Mackinlay said.