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Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Mongolia

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Mongolia, 2004, available at: [accessed 29 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.


Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 2.6 million (1.0 million under 18)
Government armed forces: 8,600
Compulsory recruitment age: 18
Voluntary recruitment age: 18
Voting age: 18
Optional Protocol: signed 12 November 2001
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I and II, ICC, ILO 138, ILO 182

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


The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, which governed from 1921 until 1996 and returned to government in 2001, remained in power. Political opponents of the government suffered human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and ill-treatment.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

The constitution provides for conscription, stating that citizens of Mongolia shall "defend the motherland and serve in the army according to law" (Article 17).2 The 2002 law on "military obligation and legal regulations of servicemen" states that men between the ages of 18 and 25 years are liable for conscription.3 The term of service is one year, and Mongolia reported to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that conscripts are not usually called up until they are 19.4 Conscripts constitute about one third of the armed forces.5 The minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 18.6 The armed forces are undergoing extensive reforms, but continue to find it difficult to attract recruits for voluntary military service. Alternative military service is for 24 months and is regulated by an amendment to the 2002 law on military service. Conscientious objectors may carry out this service in professional or specialized civil defence units, in a paramilitary unit for border guards, or in a humanitarian organization.7

Military training and military schools

There are reportedly no military schools for under-18s or any explicitly military-patriotic training in the main education system. However, a module in schools related to policing encouraged children to obey the law and inform on others who broke rules, and some inappropriate practices relating to the punishment of children were reported.8 There are no youth organizations with a military orientation.9

1 Amnesty International Report 2004, http://web.

2 Constitution,

3 Available in Mongolian at

4 Report of Mongolia to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/3/Add.32, 3 February 1995,

5 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), The Military Balance 2003-2004, Oxford University Press, October 2003.

6 Child Soldiers Coalition interview with Mongolian embassy in the United Kingdom (UK), 2 March 2004.

7 Sh. Palamdorj and Philipp Fluri, Democratic Oversight and Reform of Civil-Military Relations in Mongolia: A Self-Assessment, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, November 2003,

8 Confidential source, 12 March 2004.

9 Interview with Mongolian embassy in the UK, op. cit.

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