Dominican Republic

Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 8.6 million (3.4 million under 18)
Government armed forces: 24,500
Compulsory recruitment age: no conscription
Voluntary recruitment age: 16
Voting age: 18
Optional Protocol: signed 9 May 2002
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I and II, ILO 138, ILO 182

There was no compulsory recruitment into the armed forces and voluntary recruitment was usually sufficient to meet personnel requirements. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment was 16.


In 2003 there were violent demonstrations across the country against the governmental agreement with the IMF and the deteriorating economic situation, including power blackouts and price hikes. Several people were shot dead or wounded during the disturbances. There were continuing reports of unlawful killings by the security forces, despite the appointment of a new police chief in 2002.1


National recruitment legislation and practice

The Law of the Armed Forces, Law 873, establishes that recruitment to the armed forces is voluntary in times of peace, and compulsory or enforced in times of war or other serious threat to peace (Article 30). Voluntary recruits must be between 16 and 21 years of age on entry, and are required to serve for four years (Articles 31 and 32). The organization and operation of militias or paramilitary groups not established in law are expressly prohibited (Article 13).2

The number of under-18s serving in the armed forces was unknown.

1 Amnesty International Report 2004,

2 Ley Orgánica de las Fuerzas Armadas, Law 873, at


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