Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2017, 13:52 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Tunisia

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Tunisia, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 14 December 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.

Population: 10.1 million (3.3 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 35,300
Compulsary Recruitment Age: 20
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 20
Optional Protocol: ratified 2 January 2003
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.


In December 2006, fighting between the police and alleged members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat-GSPC), an armed group reportedly linked to al-Qaeda, left dozens of people dead and many others injured, including police officers.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

Under Articles 2 and 29 of Act No. 2004-1 of 14 January 2004 concerning national service and Article 18 of Act No. 95-92 of 2 November 1995 promulgating the Child Protection Code, Tunisia strictly prohibited service in the armed forces by persons under the age of 18, and the involvement of children in armed conflict. The Code forbade the use of children to commit crimes, including acts of violence and terror (Article 19). Tunisian legislation did not contain special provisions for lowering the age of conscription, even in exceptional circumstances.2

The constitution stated that "defence of the country and the integrity of the territory is a sacred duty of every citizen" (Article 15). In accordance with Article 1 of Act No. 51-1989 of 14 March 1989, recruitment into the armed forces was compulsory for all citizens once they reached the age of 20, unless they were medically exempt. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment of Tunisian citizens into the armed forces was 18 years.3

Military training and military schools

Recruits between the ages of 18 and 23 could be admitted into military schools.4

1 "Tunisia", Amnesty International Report 2007.

2 Initial report of Tunisia to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/TUN/1, 30 August 2007.

3 Declaration on accession to the Optional Protocol,

4 Ibid.

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