Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Romania

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2001
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Romania, 2001, available at: [accessed 23 October 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: 22,402,000
    – under-18s: 5,096,000
  • Government armed forces:
    – active: 207,000
    – reserves: 470,000
    – paramilitary: 75,900
  • Compulsory recruitment age: 20; 18 in times of war
  • Voluntary recruitment age: 18
  • Voting age (government elections): 18
  • Child soldiers: none indicated
  • CRC-OP-CAC: signed on 6 September 2000; supports "straight-18" position
  • Other treaties ratified: CRC; GC/API+II; ILO 138; ILO 182
  • There are no indications of under-18s in government armed forces.


National Recruitment Legislation and Practice

Article 52 of the 1991 Constitution states that "1. Citizens have the right and obligation to defend Romania. 2. Military service is compulsory for male Romanian citizens who have reached the age of 20, with the exception of cases defined by law. 3. Citizens up to the age of 35 can be called up for training for active military service".1583 The legal basis for military service is the 1996 Law on the Preparation of the Population for Defence. According to article 11 of the 1996 Law, all men between 20 and 35 are liable for military service. However, at war or upon their request at peace, youth may be enlisted from the age of 18 years. There are two different modalities for performing military service: a long-term military service which lasts 12 months (section 2 of the 1996 Law Article 12) and a short-term military service which lasts 6 months only for graduates of state-recognised civilian higher education institutions (section 3 of the 1996 Law Article 26). In addition, articles 53 and 54 of the 1996 Law provide for civil defence training.1584

The Romanian armed forces are due to be completely restructured with the eventual aim of creating a volunteer professional army and reducing conscription.1585

Military Training and Military Schools

There are six military schools in Romania and the minimum age of admission is 18 years. Students are not members of the armed forces. NCOs become military staff at 20 years of age and officers at 22 years of age. However, according to Article 34 of the 1996 Law, "youths admitted to military education institutions, except military high schools, shall be deemed enlisted". This is also enshrined in article 3 of the same law. According to official information, in January 1998 there were five military high schools with not more than 100 students in each per year. The minimum age for entering these schools was between 14 and 15 years of age and students were considered members of the non-combatant armed forces.1586 After the completion of the reform of the armed forces, the military education system will have 31 institutions.

According to Article 45 of the 1996 Law, pre-military training is organised on a voluntary basis for physically able youths between the age of 15 and the age of conscription. This training is aimed at providing adequate knowledge and orientation in military and technical fields and cultivating ethical and civic values. This pre-military training is organised by the Ministry of Defence in co-operation with the Ministries of Interior, Youth and Sports, and Education as well as other public authorities and bodies, and is held in centres attached to military units, educational institutions, enterprises or public bodies. Those who attend are not members of the armed forces.


International Standards

Romania signed the CRC-OP-CAC on the 6 September 2000 and supports the "straight-18" position.

1583 Blaustein and Flanz op. cit.

1584 Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.

1585, An interview from Jane's Defence Weekly, 20/1/99 to the Romania's Defence Minister Victor Babilic.

1586 Letter from the Permanent Mission of the Romania to the United Nations, Geneva, to the QUNO, 14/1/98.

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