Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August 2014, 12:42 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Guyana

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Guyana, 20 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/486cb105c.html [accessed 28 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 751,000 (261,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 1,100
Compulsary Recruitment Age: 18 (no conscription in practice)
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 16; 14-16 with parental consent
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: not signed
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ICC


There were no reports of under-18s in the armed forces but legislation providing for recruitment from the age of 14 was still in force.

Government:

National recruitment legislation and practice

The Guyana Defence Force consisted of a regular force and reserves and was charged with the defence of, and maintenance of order in, Guyana. According to the Guyana Defence Force, individuals aged 18-25 with a "good primary education" were eligible to apply.1

In August 2003 Guyana reported to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that, under the Defence Act, "A recruiting officer shall not enlist a person under the age of eighteen years in the regular Force."2 However, provisions in the Defence Act permitting recruitment from the age of 14 had not been repealed or amended. Section 18.2 of the Defence Act stated that "A recruiting officer shall not enlist a person under the age of sixteen years in the regular Force, unless consent to the enlistment has been given in writing." This consent could be given by either of his parents, anyone with "parental rights and powers in respect of him", or "if there is no such person ... any person in whose care (whether in law or in fact) the person offering to enlist may be". The same section stated that "no person under the age of fourteen years shall be enlisted in the regular Force".3

There were no reports of under-18s in the armed forces.

There was no conscription in practice,4 but the National Service Act was still in force, stating that every male citizen ordinarily resident in Guyana who had attained the age of 18 years was liable for national service.5


1 Guyana Defence Force, "Become a Soldier," www.gdf-gy.org.

2 Initial report of Guyana to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/8/Add.47, 6 August 2003.

3 Defence Act, Chapter 15.01.

4 Guyana Defence Force; see also Initial report, above note 2.

5 National Service Act, Chapter 15.02.

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