Republic of Iceland

Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 287,000 (79,000 under 18)
Government armed forces: none
Compulsory recruitment age: not applicable
Voluntary recruitment age: not applicable
Voting age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 1 October 2001
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I and II, ICC, ILO 138, ILO 182

There are no armed forces in Iceland and no evidence of child recruitment or use.


National recruitment legislation and practice

Iceland has no armed forces and maintains only a small coast guard. Iceland's security rests on its membership of NATO and on the 1951 joint Defence Agreement with the USA that established the Keflavik base.1 The police, under the control of the civilian authorities, are responsible for internal security.2 The constitution states that "No one shall be required to perform compulsory labour" (Article 68).

International standards

Iceland ratified the Optional Protocol in October 2001, in its accompanying declaration confirming that a minimum age of recruitment is not applicable since it has no armed forces.3

1 Security and defence policy,

2 US Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2003, February 2004,

3 Declarations and reservations to the Optional Protocol,


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