Population: 18.6 million (9.4 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 13,500
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 22 September 2004
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.


National recruitment legislation and practice

There was no compulsory military recruitment. Provision was made for military service under the constitution, which stated that "National service shall be an honourable duty". Although it was obligatory to present oneself for military service at 18, the service itself was not. Recruits presenting themselves to the police force had to produce a copy of their birth certificate and identity card as proof of age and identity. A medical examination was carried out if there was doubt over the age of the recruit.1

In its declaration on ratification of the Optional Protocol, Madagascar stated that "young men and women aged 18 years or more may request to be recruited into the Armed Forces or outside the Armed Forces before young men and women of their age-group. In order to preserve his or her contractual liberty, the person requesting voluntary enlistment shall submit a request approved by his or her parents or legal guardian. Offences against the requirements of these provisions shall be prosecuted and penalized under the Code of Justice on National Service or the Penal Code."2


International standards

Madagascar ratified the Optional Protocol on 22 September 2004, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on 30 March 2005.3

1 Confidential sources, March 2007.

2 Madagascar, Declaration on Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 22 September 2004, www2.ohchr.org.

3 See List of Countries Which Have Signed, Ratified/Acceded to the African Union Convention on African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, www.africa-union.org.


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