HC Deb 11 January 1999 vol 323 c18W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take in respect of UK troop deployment following the announcement of the Under-Secretary General of Peacekeeping at the United Nations that under 18 year-olds will not be included on UN peacekeeping missions. [65010]

Mr. Doug Henderson

We fully accept the UN's undertaking that personnel under the age of 18 will not be included on UN peacekeeping missions. When my Department responds to a UN request for the deployment of UK troops to a peacekeeping operation, the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) allocates tasks to the three Services as appropriate. UN requirements are of course complied with, including age restrictions. However, there may be occasions when Royal Navy units already deployed overseas, are called at short notice to such an operation. These units may contain small numbers of under 18 year-olds.