Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Liberia’s National Defense Act (2008), in the section entitled Eligibility for Service in the Armed Forces of Liberia, states: “Service in the AFL [Armed Forces of Liberia] shall be open to all qualified citizens of Liberia between the ages of 18 to 35.”
In 2009, in its combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Liberia stated: “The new law on armed forces prescribes that no person below 18 should be recruited into armed forces, a requirement that will be repeated in the Children’s Law.”
(footnote in original omitted)
Liberia further explained:
In line with the law, the armed forces in Liberia are prohibited from recruiting children under 18. The Children’s Law will further create a first-degree felony if a person recruits or enlists any child for purposes of engaging in or supporting violent conflict. The Ministry of Defence, further, has established a children’s protection unit.