A U.N. Committee has formally requested the United States government to provide information on the use of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) as a recruiting device in the nation's high schools.

In a report issued July 3rd, The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child has asked for additional information related to the Second Periodic Report of the United States to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, (OPAC). The Committee calls into question a range of laws and programs that allow the U.S. military to actively recruit children under 18. At issue is a range of recruitment policies and practices in the high schools that undermine the safeguards contained in Article 3.3 of OPAC regarding the voluntary nature of underage recruitment, the right to privacy of children and the requirement of prior consent of parents (or legal guardians).

The Committee specifically mentions the recruiting provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the ASVAB, and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs operating in the nation's schools.

The US has until November 16, 2012 to respond.

The U.S. military tests 660,000 children in 14,000 high schools yearly. More than a thousand schools require students to take the ASVAB, typically without parental consent or knowledge. Most schools market the ASVAB as a free career exploration test provided as a public service, but military recruiting manuals say the primary purpose of the test is to provide leads for recruiters. ASVAB results, which include 3 hours of test results, social security numbers, and detailed demographic information, are the only student information that leaves US schools without providing for parental consent.

Student Privacy