Serbia

Serbia

Conscription: No (since 2011).

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict: Signed (8 Oct 2001). Ratified (31 Jan 2003).
Voluntary recruitment age: 18.
Conscientious objection recognised for professional soldiers: No.
Military expenditure: 2.3% of GDP (data 2009).

Remarks:
1) The Ministry of Defence provided military education at a military gymnasium and a military academy.
2) There is no right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Recommendations:
1) Stop military training and abolish military schools for persons aged under 18.
2) Recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Notes: On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared KOSOVO independent.
On 23 March 2010, the National Assembly of Serbia passed a new Amnesty Law, which will allow many Serbian expatriates to return to Serbia without fear of being arrested. According to the law, all citizens who have avoided military duty or service, or wilfully left the Serbian Army from 18 April 2006 until the new law comes into force, will be granted amnesty. The law covers the following offences of the Penal Code of Serbia: Article 394 (Evasion of Military Service), Article 395 (Evasion of Registration and Inspection), Article 396 (Failure to Provide Material Resources), Article 397 (Evasion by Self-disablement and Deceit) and Article 399 (Absence Without Leave and Desertion). According to the law, offences committed since 18 April 2006 until the day the new law comes into force fall under the amnesty. In the event that criminal proceedings have already been started, they will be stopped. Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic told parliament: "We have about 40,000 conscripts living abroad and annually about 5,000 are seeking to postpone or avoid service". "Most such conscripts are in constant fear of arrest whenever they come to Serbia".