Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or “compelling to military service persons less than seventeen years of age”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime.
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Serbia stated:
The … Law of the Army of FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] sets out that the recruitment obligation [for the army] begins at the beginning of the calendar year in which a citizen of SCG [State Union of Serbia and Montenegro] becomes 17 years of age and lasts until the beginning of the army service … [R]ecruitment is done in the calendar year in which the recruited person becomes 18 years of age and also that the recruited person may, at his own request, be recruited in the calendar year in which he becomes 17, while the President of SCG may order, during a state of war, recruitment of persons with military obligation who have become 17 years of age.