Conscription: No (since 2010).
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict: Signed (8 Jun 2000). Ratified (20 Feb 2003).
Voluntary recruitment age: 18.
Conscientious objection recognised for professional soldiers: No.
Military expenditure: 1.2% of GDP (data 2009).
1) All residents of Sweden between the ages of 16 and 70 were liable for compulsory military, civilian or national service under the terms of the 1994 National Total Defence Service Act. Compulsory military service was performed in the armed forces and compulsory civilian service in support of the civilian dimension of the Total Defence, defined as “the protection of Swedish society in times of crisis or war”. The obligation to compulsory national service applied only in a time of officially declared emergency preparedness. Compulsory military and civilian service was limited to those who were 18 years old or older, and compulsory national service was restricted to those who had reached the age of 16. As part of the Total Defence, 16-year-olds were prohibited from performing any tasks that could constitute an aspect of military defence.
2) Sweden’s Armed Forces held voluntary youth courses aimed at informing young people between the ages of 15 and 20 about the Total Defence and career opportunities. Young people under the age of 18 at the time of application had to have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate in these activities. While 15-year-olds were permitted to participate in firearms training, training with automatic weapons was restricted to those aged 17 or above.
3) There is no right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.
1) Stop the recruitment of persons aged under 18 for the compulsory national service.
2) Stop military training for persons aged under 18.
3) Recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.