Ukraine

Ukraine

Conscription: Yes.

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict: Signed (7 Sep 2000). Ratified (11 Jul 2005).
Compulsory recruitment age: 18.
Voluntary recruitment age: 19.
Duration of compulsory military service: 18 months in the navy / 12 months in the army and air force / 9 months for university graduates / 3 months for junior commanders.
Conscientious objection to military service recognised for conscripts: Yes, since 1992.
Duration of civilian service: 27 months and 18 months for those who have completed higher education.
Conscientious objection recognised for professional soldiers: No.
Military expenditure: 2.9% of GDP (data 2009).

Remarks:
1) Young people could enrol for training in a higher military education institution between the ages of 17 and 21. Potential officers could enrol between the ages of 18 and 23. In 2005 the Ministry of Defence announced the closure of 23 higher military schools by 2009, among them the Mikolaiv Military Motor College and the Vasilkiv Air Force College. All higher military education for ground troops was in future to be concentrated in one national university at Lviv. Among reasons given for the closures were falling enrolments and students’ need for vocational skills which they could transfer to civilian life. At least one secondary-school offered two years’ intensive military preparation from the age of 15, specifically for orphans and the children of military personnel. The orphans’ secondary-school in the Crimean town of Alushta reported that in 2004, 90 per cent of its former students had gone on to a career in the armed forces.
2) The civilian service has punitive duration (50% longer than the military service).
3) A list of ten minority religious groups whose members were eligible to apply had been specified in a 1999 government decree. Objectors from Jewish or majority faiths, or who were not religious, had no alternative to compulsory military service.
4) There is no right to conscientious objection for serving conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers.

Recommendations:
1) Stop military training and abolish military schools for persons aged under 18.
2) Make a civilian service of equal duration to the military one.
3) Recognise the right to conscientious objection to all applicants, both on ideological and religious grounds, and not just to the ten minority religious groups.
4) Recognise the right to conscientious objection for serving conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers.