United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child - States Parties Reports
Convention on the
Rights of the Child
21 April 2005
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER
ARTICLE 8 (1) OF THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON
THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD ON THE INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN
Initial reports of States parties due in 2004
[21 September 2004]
GE.0541459 (E) 040505
1. On 27 August 2002 Denmark ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 25 May 2000. The Optional Protocol entered into force for Denmark on 27 September 2002. In connection with the ratification Denmark submitted a declaration of 13 August 2002 pursuant to article 3, paragraph 2, of the Optional Protocol, stating that Danish legislation does not permit the recruitment of any person below the age of 18 in the armed forces.
2. In 1998 the minimum age for military service in the Danish Armed Forces was raised to 18 years.
3. At that time it was possible to perform military service from the age of 17 as a private first class trainee and as private first class personnel, as a conscript and as a voluntary member of the Danish Home Guard.
4. The minimum age was raised owing to a decision that Denmark should work more actively towards a general minimum age of 18 years for compulsory and voluntary recruitment to the Armed Forces in the negotiations on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
5. As for private first class trainees and private first class personnel, the decision to raise the minimum age to 18 years came into force at the end of May 1998. Thus, the minimum age for voluntary military service in all services of the Armed Forces is 18 years. This minimum age is laid down in two circulars issued by the Danish Ministry of Defence.
6. As for conscripts, the decision to raise the minimum age to 18 years came into force on 1 January 1999. This minimum age is laid down in Ministry of Defence Order No. 1083 of 23 December 1998.
7. As a principal rule, the process of compulsory recruitment begins after the person concerned has attained the age of 18 years. However, at the request of the person concerned the process may begin in the calendar year during which the person concerned attains the age of 18 years.
8. Every resident of Denmark has an individual civil registration number from which the date of birth and the age of the resident can be identified. The individual civil registration numbers are stored in a computerized central national register. The information needed to start the process of compulsory recruitment is derived from the central national register, and thus the age of the person concerned is verified. Later on, during the process of compulsory recruitment, the person concerned is required to produce various kinds of documents, including a birth certificate.
9. As for voluntary members of the Danish Home Guard, the decision to raise the minimum age to 18 years came into force on 1 March 2001. This minimum age is laid down in the Home Guard Act, cf. Consolidated Act No. 80 of 12 February 2004.
10. As follows from the above, no person can become a member of the Danish Armed Forces before the person concerned has attained the age of 18 years. The age of 18 years is determined from the date of birth of the person in question.
11. The Danish military authorities and the Danish Ministry of Defence are responsible for the observance of the rules according to which the minimum age for military service in the Danish Armed Forces is 18 years.