Declaration made upon accession (Translation) (Original: French)
1. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment in the national armed forces is 18 years. Recruitment is always voluntary, it is not coerced. No person may join the armed forces unless he or she meets the age requirement, in accordance with Article 2 of Act No. 95-695 of 7 September 1995 establishing the Code of Military Service.
2. A person may become a soldier through recruitment, or on the basis of qualifications or competitive examinations, in accordance with Article 59 of Act No. 95-695 of 7 September 1995 on the Code of Military Service. The presentation of documentary evidence of age is required prior to acceptance in the national armed forces (national identity card, birth certificate etc.). Furthermore, admission to recruitment examinations is subject to medical clearance.
3. The Code of Military Service guarantees rights to those who have chosen a military career or are carrying out their national military service in keeping with the particular constraints that service imposes. It defines the general status of military personnel and their pension system.
4. Military service of a maximum of eighteen (18) months of active service is a civic obligation for all nationals of Côte d’Ivoire of both sexes.
(a) Ivorians of both sexes must fulfil national service obligations once they reach the age of 18; service may be postponed until the age of 30.
(b) Students enrolled in higher education may defer or be exempted from military service.
Articles 81, 82, 83 and 88 of Act No. 95-695 of 7 September 1995 on the Code of Military Service.
5. It should be noted that article 3 of the Optional Protocol does not apply to military schools, such as the Military Academy in Bingerville (EMPT), since the obligation to raise the minimum age for voluntary recruitment, as laid out in article 3, paragraph 1, does not concern educational institutions run by the armed forces of States Parties, in accordance with articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.