Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Conscription: No (since 2008).

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict: Signed (8 Jun 2001). Ratified (12 Feb 2002).
Voluntary recruitment age: 18.
Conscientious objection recognised for professional soldiers: No.
Military expenditure: 2.0% of GDP (data 2009).

Remarks:
1) Applicants to military colleges had to have a high school diploma, but there were no specific age requirements. Secondary-school graduates under the age of 18 could enter military schools until they were old enough to perform military service. In its declaration on ratifying the Optional Protocol in February 2002 Bulgaria stated that “Persons who have not come of age shall be trained at military schools subject to the conclusion of a training agreement to be signed by them with the consent of their parents or guardians. Having come of age, the trainees shall sign a training agreement on a regular military duty.”
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.