Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 16:20 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Uruguay

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Uruguay, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 22 February 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: 3.5 million (1.0 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 25,100
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 9 September 2003
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ICC

No under-18s were allowed to serve in the armed forces, even in time of war.


National recruitment legislation and practice

All enlistment to the armed forces was voluntary, and it was without exception illegal to enlist anyone under the age of 18, even in time of war. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 with basic (primary) education could volunteer, regardless of their marital status; they had to serve a minimum of two years.1 There had been no conscription for over 50 years.2

Military training and military schools

Soldiers underwent a three-month training course, and further training depended on their unit and superior officer.3

The Liceo Militar (Military High School) offered secondary education to children in the fourth to sixth year of secondary education (typically from age 15).4 The Navy School (Escuela Naval) offered fifth- and sixth-year secondary education in science, the humanities, engineering or economics.5 Students from the Liceo Militar became members of the armed forces reserves on graduating.6

The Military School (Escuela Militar) was a post-secondary-education centre for army officer cadets. Candidates followed a four-year program, specializing in infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineering or communications.7

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

2 Second periodic report of Uruguay to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/URY/2, 13 October 2006.

3 FLACSO, above note 1.

4 Escuela Militar, Formación Profesional,

5 Escuela Naval, Plan de estudios,

6 FLACSO, above note 1.

7 Escuela Militar, above note 4.

Search Refworld