Sultanate of Oman

Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: 2.8 million (1.2 million under 18)
Government armed forces: 41,700
Compulsory recruitment age: no conscription
Voluntary recruitment age: 18
Voting age: 21
Optional Protocol: not signed
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): CRC, GC AP I and II, ILO 182

There was no evidence of under-18s in government armed forces. In at least one school, children received military training from the age of 14.


There has been no armed conflict in Oman since the Dhofar rebellion, which ended in 1975.


National recruitment legislation and practice

The Basic Law of Oman states that "No organization or group is allowed to establish military or paramilitary forces. The Law regulates military services, general or partial mobilization and the rights, duties and disciplinary rules of the armed forces, the public security organizations and any other forces the state decides to establish" (Article 14).1 Conscription has not existed in Oman since its independence in 1970. Voluntary recruits to the armed forces are accepted between the ages of 18 and 30.2

Military training and military schools

Military training is offered to children in at least one school. Students at the al-Sahwa School in Grades 9 and 10, aged between 14 and 16, were trained in marching, parading and rifle shooting under the supervision and instruction of the Royal Oman Police.3


On 5 April 2004 the government issued a royal decree approving Oman's ratification of the Optional Protocol.4 However, the protocol had not been signed by Oman as of March 2004.5

1 Basic Law, 1996 (Arabic, Coalition translation), UNDP Programme on Governance in the Arab Region,

2 Helen Chapin Metz, Country Study, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1987; Rachel Brett and Margaret McCallin, Children: The Invisible Soldiers, Rädda Barnen (Save the Children – Sweden), Stockholm, 1998.

3 Al-Sahwa Schools, http://www.alsahwaschools.

4 "His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has issued two royal decrees", Oman Observer, 6 April 2004.

5 Data as of March 2004, (subscription required).


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