Serbia and Montenegro
Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Serbia and Montenegro stated:
602. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been incorporated in the Yugoslav legal system in 1990 … Also, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ratified the Optional Protocol on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflict in 2002 …
603. In case of war or other armed conflict, criminal legislation prohibits the treatment of the participants in the conflict and of the population of the country that is a party to the conflict in a way ignoring the fundamental human rights and freedoms. It is a matter of criminal-legal protection based on international law, so that most of the criminal-legal norms, in defining criminal offences, refer to international law.
604. Besides, the protection of children from participating in armed conflicts is also ensured by the legislation relating [to] the Yugoslav Army and the performance of military service. This legislation establishes the lower limit for sending persons to do their military service, i.e. 21 years of age. Exceptionally, a conscript may at his own request be sent to serve his military term even before reaching the age of 21, but not before 18 years of age.