Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 07:09 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Qatar

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Qatar, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 26 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.

Population: 813,000 (204,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 12,400
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18 1
Optional Protocol: acceded 25 July 2002
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182

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


National recruitment legislation and practice

The constitution, approved in a public referendum in April 2003, stated that "Defending the country is the duty of all citizens" (Article 53); however, military service is not compulsory. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment was 18, and there were no indications that under-18s served in the armed forces. Qatar's declaration on acceding to the Optional Protocol stated that "The State of Qatar declares 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 that it takes account of the safeguards set forth in paragraph 3 of the same article [Article 3, Optional Protocol] ... the State of Qatar affirms that its national legislation makes no provision for any form of compulsory or coercive recruitment."2


At a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, Qatar and 58 other states endorsed the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups. The documents reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.

1 UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Qatar, 22 January 2008,

2 Declaration on accession to Optional Protocol:

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