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Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Equatorial Guinea

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Equatorial Guinea, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
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: 504,000 (257,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 1,300
Compulsary Recruitment Age: not established
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18 1
Optional Protocol: not signed
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ACRWC

Although obligatory by law, in practice military service was voluntary. Only men over 18 years old could volunteer for military service.


National recruitment and legislation

The constitution stated that military service is compulsory and "regulated by law".2 However, no law was enacted to regulate military service and recruitment and, in practice, military service was voluntary. The government periodically called on men over 18 years of age to enlist voluntarily in the armed forces for a minimum two-year period. There were no reports of recruitment of under-18s.3

The 1990 Labour Act regulated child labour and set the minimum legal age for employment at 14, although 12-year-olds were permitted to work in certain jobs; it also stated that the minimum age for admission to employment "which by its nature or owing to the conditions under which it is performed may place at risk the health, safety or morals of children shall be 16 years".4 In practice, however, the law was seldom enforced.


In its concluding observations on Equatorial Guinea's initial report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee recommended that the government ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.5

1 CIA, World Factbook.

2 B. Horeman and M. Stolwijk, Refusing to Bear Arms: A World Survey of Conscription and Conscientious Objection to Military Service, War Resisters International, London, 1998,; Report of the UN Secretary-General to UN Commission on Human Rights on civil and political rights, including the question of conscientious objection to military service, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2000/55, 17 December 1999.

3 Confidential source, July 2007.

4 Initial Report of Equatorial Guinea to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/11/Add.26, 28 January 2004.

5 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of report submitted by Equatorial Guinea, Concluding observations, UN Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.245, 3 November 2004.

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