§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on Human Rights to raise the age of recruitment to the armed forces to the age of 18 years. 
§ Mr. Doug Henderson
The UK has played, and will continue to play, a full and active part in negotiations on the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We consider our current recruiting and deployment policies to be in line with the principles that are being sought internationally. We recruit only volunteers into the Armed Forces, and then only with the written consent of parents/guardians in the case of personnel aged under 18. The Services provide young people with a rewarding and challenging career, together with the opportunity to develop skills and civilian recognised qualifications in a wide range of trades and occupations.