Georgia

Georgia

Conscription: Yes.

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict: Not signed. Not ratified. Accessed (3 Aug 2010).
Compulsory recruitment age: 18.
Voluntary recruitment age: 18.
Duration of compulsory military service: 18 months.
Conscientious objection to military service recognised for conscripts: Yes, since 1997.
Duration of civilian service: 36 months.
Conscientious objection recognised for professional soldiers: No.
Military expenditure: 5.6% of GDP (data 2009).

Remarks:
1) The Optional Protocol is not signed and ratified.
2) The government strongly supported and fully funded a number of Patriot Camps around the country, which offered ten-day residential programs in gun handling, sport and leadership training for young people (male and female) aged 15–20. Handling guns, including automatic weapons, was taught by military trainers.
3) The civilian service has extremely punitive duration (100% longer than the military service).
4) There is no right to conscientious objection for serving conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers.

Recommendations:
1) Sign and ratify the Optional Protocol.
2) Stop military training for persons aged under 18.
3) Make a genuinely civilian service of equal duration to the military one.
4) Recognise the right to conscientious objection for serving conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers.
Notes: In May 2004 Georgia regained control over the autonomous region of AJARIA without resorting to force. However, most of ABKHAZIA and SOUTH OSSETIA remained unrecognized self-proclaimed republics.
ABKHAZIA’s 1995 Law on Universal Military Service set 18 as the minimum age for conscription. Boys were registered with the authorities at the age of 17. There were some reports that boys under the age of 18 had been conscripted illegally into the Abkhazia forces or released on payment of bribes, including in the ethnic Georgian Gali region under the control of Abkhazia. The authorities in Abkhazia denied that an attempt had been made in November 2005 to conscript ethnic Georgians. In the final two grades of school, between the ages of 15 and 17, pupils received “pre-conscription training for civil defence” for two hours a week. However, in many schools the course did not take place because of its obsolete nature and the lack of trained staff, and the Ministry of Education planned to produce a new course. In August 2007 it was reported that a military school in Abkhazia was to be reopened with support from the Russian armed forces. No details of enrolment policy were available. The right to conscientious objection is not legally recognized and there is no possibility of performing a substitute service outside the armed forces.
The army of SOUTH OSSETIA reportedly followed the military regulations of the Russian Federation, with a minimum age of 18 for conscription. The bulk of its security training took place in Russia. Military service was for 18 months. There is no possibility of performing a substitute service outside the armed forces.