Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Croatia’s Defence Law (1993) imposes a military service obligation only for persons who are 19 years old in the year when they start their military service. In wartime or in case of direct peril to the independence and integrity of the Republic, the President may impose a military service obligation for persons who are 17 years old.
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that it is a war crime to “order the recruitment of children under fifteen years of age for the national armed forces”.
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Croatia stated: “In Croatia minors are protected by domestic law, which prohibits the enlistment of minors (persons who have not reached the age of 18).