Republic of Korea
Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[c]onscripting children under the age of fifteen years into the armed forces or in armed groups, or enlisting them in the armed forces or in armed groups” in both international and non-international armed conflicts.
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the Republic of Korea stated:
4. The Republic of Korea remains committed to protecting children from involvement in armed conflict by respecting the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Protocol … Major national measures taken to implement the Optional Protocol are as follows:
(a) The minimum age for voluntary enlistment for active service in the armed forces was raised from 17 to 18 years by amending the related provision of the Military Service Act;
7. The Military Service Act clearly states that no male national under the age of 18 may be enlisted for active or reserve service.