Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Qatar

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Qatar, 2004, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
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.

State of Qatar

Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 601,000 (187,000 under 18)
Government armed forces: 12,400 (estimate)
Compulsory recruitment age: no conscription
Voluntary recruitment age: 18
Voting age: 18
Optional Protocol: acceded 25 July 2002
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I, ILO 182

There were no reports of under-18s being used in Qatar.


Qatar hosted US forces during and after the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003.


National recruitment legislation and practice

Qatar's constitution, which was approved in a public referendum in April 2003, states that "Defending the country is the duty of all citizens" (Article 53).1 However, military service is not compulsory. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 18 years.2 There were no indications that under-18s served in the armed forces.


International standards

Qatar acceded to the Optional Protocol on 25 July 2002. On accession, it declared "that recruitment to its armed forces and other regular forces is voluntary and is for those who have attained the age of 18 years" and affirmed that "its national legislation makes no provision for any form of compulsory or coercive recruitment".3

1 Permanent Constitution of Qatar, English translation published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

2 Declaration of Qatar on acceding to the Optional Protocol, 25 July 2002,

3 Declaration of Qatar, op. cit.

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