Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Montenegro

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Montenegro, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 20 January 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: 601,000 (145,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 7,300
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription (abolished 2006)
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 2 May 2007 by succession
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ICC

There were no reports of under-18s serving in the armed forces.


A referendum in Montenegro on 21 May 2006, observed by the European Union and the Council of Europe, narrowly favoured Montenegro's independence from Serbia by a vote of over 55 per cent. The state of Serbia and Montenegro had been a loose union of two semi-independent republics created in 2003 following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Montenegro formally declared independence on 3 June 2006, and was recognized as a member state of the UN on 28 June. Serbia and Montenegro both subsequently appointed ministers to carry out previously state-level functions, including for defence and foreign relations.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

In 2007 a draft Defence Law provided a legal basis for the creation and authority of a ministry of defence. Following the split with Serbia, some armed forces personnel in Montenegro chose to serve in the Serbian armed forces and some in Serbia chose to serve in Montenegro.

Initial reforms of the armed forces in Montenegro included ending conscription and compulsory armed service.2 Conscription was abolished in August 2006.3

In its declaration on succession to the Optional Protocol, the government stated that there was no mandatory military service and that the minimum age for voluntary recruitment was 18.4

1 Amnesty International, Europe and Central Asia: Summary of Amnesty International's concerns in the region, January – June 2006, 1 December 2006.

2 UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Country Profile: Montenegro,

3 CIA World Factbook,

4 Optional Protocol, reservations and declarations,

Search Refworld