Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2017, 09:48 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Uruguay

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004 - Uruguay, 2004, available at: [accessed 18 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.

Eastern Republic of Uruguay

Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 3.4 million (1.0 million under 18)
Government armed forces: 24,000
Compulsory recruitment age: no conscription
Voluntary recruitment age: 18
Voting age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 9 September 2003
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I and II, ICC, ILO 138, ILO 182

Uruguay has affirmed that it does not allow voluntary recruitment of under-18s in any circumstances. Students aged 16 may enrol in a military school where they receive "pre-military" instruction.


The Peace Commission, established in August 2000, to clarify the fate of the "disappeared" during the military dictatorship of 1973-1985, published its findings in April 2003. The report contains documented evidence of the torture and extrajudicial executions of dozens of Uruguayan and Argentine nationals. Nobody was brought to justice for these crimes.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

Enrolment into Uruguay's armed forces is voluntary and candidates must be 18 years of age. It provides an opportunity for vocational training which includes military instruction, including the handling of weapons.2

Uruguay supports a "straight-18" position. In its declaration made on ratification of the Optional Protocol in September 2003, Uruguay affirmed that it does not allow voluntary recruitment of under-18s in any circumstances, even in time of war.3

Military training and military schools

Students may enrol from the age of 16 at the Liceo Militar General Artigas (General Artigas Military School), a military secondary school run by the Ministry of Defence. The school provides a general secondary education and weekly "pre-military" instruction. Students participate in annual army manoeuvres. Graduates can opt to enter army, navy, air force and police academies.4

1 Amnesty International Report 2004, http://web.

2 Comments by Uruguay on the Report of the Working Group on a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1999/WG.13/2/Add.1, 8 December 1998,

3 Declaration made by Uruguay on ratification of the Optional Protocol,

4 Liceo Militar General Artigas,

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