Conscientious objection for the unemployed
WRI's British section, the Peace Pledge Union, reported in the latest issue of its magazine Peace Matters on the case of an unemployed who was forced by the Job Centre to take a job at the Military Preparation College in Bangor outside of which he organised a (unconnected) protest a few weeks before. The job is to get young people of 14-19 to join the military. He tried pointing out his unsuitability for such a job (he is part of a group that is running campaigns against the military recruiting in local schools) and the fundamental problem with such work for him but the Job centre shows no mercy and threaten to stop his benefits.
According to the official website of the Military Preparation College, "the College was formed in South Wales in 1999 to provide a unique environment specifically designed to prepare young people for a military career".
The case points to the need to protect conscientious objection also for private employees and for the unemployed.
Sources: Peace Matters No 62, spring 2011; Military Preparation College: Website, accessed 4 May 2011