Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
34. Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of eighteen years into the national armed forces.
Upon ratification of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, Uruguay stated that it “will not under any circumstances recruit persons who have not attained the age of 18 years”.
At the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1999, Uruguay pledged “to promote the adoption of national and international standards prohibiting the military recruitment … in armed conflicts of persons under 18 years of age”.
In 2003, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Uruguay stated: “Compulsory military service has not existed in Uruguay for over 50 years. All enlistment is voluntary; it is illegal to enlist anyone under the age of 18 with no exceptions even in time of war.”
Uruguay also stated:
Uruguay ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict by Act No. 17483 on 8 May 2005. In line with the reservation entered by Uruguay at the time it ratified the Convention, recruitment into the armed forces is only possible from the age of 18.