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Child Soldiers International - USA: Shadow Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

April 2012 - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a skills and guidance test developed, funded and graded by the US military. It is a necessary requirement when entering the military, but it is also used in 14,000 high schools in the United States.72 It is open to high school juniors and seniors, withthe vast majority of participants being under 18, and with some as young as 15.73 The test is a means of assessing a student's strengths and weaknesses with a view to informing their future career paths, including the appropriateness of a career in the military,74 which in turn advises recruiters which students they should approach.the military also uses the ASVAB to obtain students' personal contact information, including their name, address, phone number and social security details.76 Crucially, unlike the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act parents do not have the ability to opt out and prevent their child's personal information from being released to third parties.77 Therefore, student information that has been withheld by opting out of NCLBcan be released to the military via the ASVAB. Whilst schools have the ability to prevent data from being passed on to the military, information from the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy78 indicates that few school administrators are aware of this.79 Various sources have indicated that children are oftenunaware of the voluntary nature of the test or its links to the military,80 and there have been instances of students being actively informed that the test was mandatory.81 Child Soldiers International contends that US campaign to stop the use of child soldiers, United States of America: Compliance with the Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child from the US campaign to stop the use of child soldiers, November 2007. (Read more in the report)

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