Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 15:02 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Moldova

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2001
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Moldova, 2001, available at: [accessed 22 November 2017]
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.


Mainly covers the period June 1998 to April 2001 as well as including some earlier information.

  • Population:
    – total: 4,380,000
    – under-18s: 1,290,000
  • Government armed forces:
    – active: 9,500
    – reserves: some 66,000
    – paramilitary: 3,400
  • Compulsory recruitment age: 18
  • Voluntary recruitment age: unknown
  • Child soldiers: unknown in government armed forces; none indicated in opposition armed forces
  • CRC-OP-CAC: not signed
  • Other treaties ratified: CRC; GC/API+II; ILO 138
  • It is not known if there are any under-18s in government armed forces due to lack of information on voluntary recruitment age. There are no reports of child participation in the conflict over the breakaway republic of Trans-Dnestr.


The breakaway Trans-Dnestr republic declared independence from Moldova in September 1990 but has not received international recognition.1220 A 1992 peace agreement established a security zone on both sides of the Nistru (Dnestr) river monitored by a combined Russian, Moldovan and Transnistrian peacekeeping force.1221 In April 1999, Russia reportedly agreed to withdraw its troops by 2005.1222


National Recruitment Legislation and Practice

The legal basis for military conscription was, until May 1999, the 1992 Law on the Military Duty and Military Service of the Citizens of the Republic of Moldova. All men between 18 and 40 are liable for military service. According to the 1992 law military service lasted for 18 months, but in May 1999 the Ministry of Defence officially reduced the duration of compulsory military service to 12 months following the adoption of a new law on military training.1223 The Government has been planning to abolish conscription in favour of a professional army for some time. In the military doctrine adopted on 6 June 1995 by the Moldovan Parliament, it was stated that the principles for the reform of the armed forces included a mixed system of manning – conscription and contract service – with a gradual long-term transition to a fully professional army.1224

Even though military service is compulsory, only 15 per cent of those liable for conscription are actually recruited because voluntary enlistment apparently produces the requisite number of recruits.1225 Conscription is avoided by the upper classes and as a result most conscripts are from poorer country families.1226

Military Training and Military Schools

Prior to 1995, there were no military schools in Moldova and most officers were trained abroad. Now officers are trained at the Alexandru cel Bun military College in Chisinau. There are also military schools in Rezina and Cahul.1227


The armed opposition Dnestr forces are estimated to number 8,000 (excluding reserves).1228 The Transnistrian authorities initiated their own draft of men between 18 and 40 years of age.1229 Recently, the President of the breakaway Dnestr Moldovan Republic, has declared that the military potential and arsenals of the Dnestr Republic should be increased.1230


1221 Waters, T., "The Republic of Moldova: armed forces and military doctrine", The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, 6/98.

1222 "Russia to pull arms out of Transdniestr", AFP International, 16/7/99 and "Russian troops to withdraw from Moldova's Dniestr by 2005", BBC Monitoring Service, 8/6/99.

1223 "Moldova's Defence Ministry suggests 30% army personnel cuts", Interfax, 21/1/99; "Moldova cuts universal military service from 20 to 12 months", BBC Monitoring Service, 4/5/99.

1224 Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.; Waters, T. op. cit.

1225 Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.

1226 Waters, T. op. cit.

1227 Ibid.

1228 IISS op. cit.; Waters, T. op. cit.

1229 Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.

1230 "Moldova: head of breakaway region calls for strong well-trained army", BBC Monitoring Service, 26/2/99.

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