Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Cameroon

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Cameroon, 20 May 2008, available at: [accessed 13 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: 16.3 million (7.9 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 14,100
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18; under 18 with parental consent
Voting Age: 20
Optional Protocol: signed 5 October 2001
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 138, ILO 182, ACRWC

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


There was an increased spill-over of insecurity and refugees from the Central African Republic in mid-2007, and Cameroon sent troops from its Rapid Intervention Battalion to its eastern regions.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

Presidential Decree No. 94/185 (September 1994), concerning non-officer military personnel, set the minimum recruitment age at 18 (Article 11); recruitment was on a voluntary basis.2 In April 2001 Cameroon reported to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that there was no conscription in Cameroon. The government also stated that no child under the age of 18 might be recruited into the armed forces, gendarmerie or police force, except with parental consent.3 No information was available on the number of recruits under the age of 18 in the security forces.

1 International Crisis Group (ICG), CrisisWatch No. 47, 1 July 2007,

2 Bart Horeman and Marc Stolwijk, Refusing to bear arms: A world survey of conscription and conscientious objection to military service, War Resisters International, 1998,

3 Initial report of Cameroon to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/28/Add.16, 26 March 2001.

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