Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Malta

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2001
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Malta, 2001, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
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.


Mainly covers the period June 1998 to April 2001 as well as including some earlier information.

  • Population:
    – total: 386.000
    – under-18s: 97.000
  • Government armed forces:
    – active: 2,140
  • Compulsory recruitment age: unknown
  • Voluntary recruitment age: 18
  • Voting age (government elections): 18
  • Child soldiers: none indicated
  • CRC-OP-CAC: signed on 7 September 2000; supports "straight-18" position
  • Other treaties ratified: CRC; GC/API+II; ICC; ILO 138
  • There are no indications of under-18s in government armed forces.


National Recruitment Legislation and Practice

According to the 1964 Constitution,1193 "Malta is a neutral state actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations, by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and refusing to participate in any military alliance".1194 Furthermore, Section 35(2)(c) of the Constitution states that "forced labour" does not include "any labour required of a member of disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such, or in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service".

In the initial report of Malta to the Committee of the Rights of the Child in 1998 Malta stated that " With reference to article 38 on armed hostilities, such issues are regulated at international law to which Malta is signatory in terms of the relevant treaties. On the domestic front it is not permissible for persons under 18 to formally engage in combat with the armed forces. The age limit for enlistment in the armed forces of Malta is 18 years".1195 Volunteers must sign up for at least 3 years.1196

It appears from official documents that the armed forces have difficulty attracting enough servicemen.1197 In 1997, the Maltese government decided to set up Individual Emergency Reserves and Emergency Volunteer force.


International Standards

Malta signed the CRC-OP-CAC on the 7 September 2000 and supports a "straight-18" position.

1193 Blaustein and Flanz op. cit.

1194 Section 1(3) of the Constitution.

1195 CRC/C/3/Add.56, 3/9/98, Report of Malta, Paragraph 19 and paragraph 281.

1196 Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.

1197 A white paper on modernising the armed forces of Malta's military capability, 1997, available on the internet:

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