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Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Argentina

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Argentina, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 27 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.

Population: 38.7 million (12.3 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 71,700
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription (see text)
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 10 September 2002
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.


National recruitment legislation and practice

Compulsory military service had been replaced by voluntary enrolment in 1994, although the government retained powers to restore conscription in an emergency.1 Volunteers to the armed forces were on renewable two-year contracts.2 They had to be 18-24 years old and to have seven years of basic education. Those under 21 were required to have parental consent.3

If the number of volunteers failed to meet the quota of recruits for a particular year, Congress could authorize the conscription for up to 12 months of citizens who turned 18 that year.4 In such circumstances, conscientious objectors could carry out an alternative form of social service. In an armed conflict, the whole population had to support the war effort with non-military service.5

In June 2006, Decree 727 regulating the National Defence Law established a clearer line of civilian command over the armed forces and in the development of defence policies.6 The armed forces could respond to external threats only and were excluded from internal security operations related to drug trafficking and terrorism.

Military training and military schools

Each branch of the armed forces had its own primary, secondary and training schools. The army had seven primary and secondary-schools around the country, which offered the national curriculum as well as military instruction.7

Candidates for officer training at the National Military College had to have completed secondary education and were usually about 17 or 18 years old. They needed parental consent if they were under 21. Women could take courses that included artillery, engineering, communications and logistics. Students were allowed to leave the college without penalty.8

Candidates to the Military Aviation School had to be aged 16-22 and to have completed their secondary education. Officers graduated after four years as second lieutenants (alférez).9

Those seeking to enrol at the Military Naval School had to be at least in their final secondary school year (typically aged 17) and have parental consent if under 21.10

Candidates to the non-commissioned officers' air force school had to be aged 16-22, have parental consent if under 21 and have completed their secondary education. Graduates received the rank of corporal (cabo) after two years' training.11

Boys and girls aged 11-15 could enrol in military high schools (liceos militares) run by the armed forces. The schools provided a general education, with military instruction for students in their last two years.12


In October 2007 Argentina 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 two documents, which were previously endorsed by 59 states at a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for the protection of and assistance to child soldiers, following a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.

1 Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Programa Seguridad y Ciudadanía, Reporte del Sector Seguridad en América Latina y el Caribe, Informe Nacional: Argentina, August 2006,

2 FLACSO, above note 1.

3 Ejército Argentino, Servicio Militar Voluntario, Soldado voluntario,

4 Ley del Servicio Militar Voluntario, No. 24429, Articles 19, 20 and 21.

5 Ley de Defensa Nacional, No. 23554.

6 FLACSO, above note 1; see also Child Soldiers: Global Report 2004

7 FLACSO, above note 1.

8 Colegio Militar de la Nación, Preguntas frecuentes,

9 Escuela de Aviación Militar, Incorporacion y educacion,

10 Escuela Naval Militar,

11 Escuela de Suboficiales de la Fuerza Aérea, Información General, Condiciones y Programas de Ingreso,

12 Comando de Educacion y doctrina,; see also Global Report 2004, above note 6.

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