Population: 2.0 million (345,000 under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 6,600
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: ratified 23 September 2004
There were no reports of under-18s serving in the armed forces.
National recruitment legislation and practice
A major reorganization of the armed forces was under way, aimed at changing from a conscription-based territorial defence force to a volunteer army deployable within NATO. Conscription ended in October 2003 and compulsory reserve service was to end by 2010.1 In March 2007 the volunteer force consisted of 6,500 soldiers, with a further 2,000 expected to be recruited by 2010. Recruits were required to have been in education between the ages of 15 and 18, and to be under 25.2 In its declaration on ratifying the Optional Protocol in September 2004, the government stated that the minimum age for voluntary recruitment was 18.3
Previously, under the Military Service Act, all men aged between 19 and 27 had been liable for conscription, although 18 year olds could volunteer for military service. In time of war or emergency, 18 year olds could also have been called up.4
Military training and military schools
The military education system was overhauled, and in 2005 the process of merging all military schools under one command began. The Flight School was subordinated to the Doctrine, Development, Education and Training Command. The military schools provided education and training programs for soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers and specialized military personnel. Also in 2005 an e-learning centre and a Command and Unit Combat Training Centre were established, and 67 army personnel successfully completed basic military professional training at the Non-commissioned Officer School and the Officer Candidate School.5
At a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, Slovenia and 58 other states endorsed the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups. The documents reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.
3 Declarations and reservations to the Optional Protocol, www2.ohchr.org.
4 Second periodic report of Slovenia to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/70/Add.19, 18 June 2003.