Initial report on compliance with the optional protocol to the convention on the rights of children in relation to the involvement of children in armed co



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Article 2

18. Article 143 of the Federal Constitution determines that military service is compulsory, according to the law, with the prevision of exemption for women and clergymen and the possibility of exemption for conscientious objectors. The main legal instrument is the Military Service Law (Annex 2), establishes the norms, proceedings, rights and duties of all Brazilian citizens, in relation to the obligatoriness of military service, which are more clarified in its Regulation (Military Service Law’s Regulation – RLSM, , approved by Decree No. 57654 of June 20, 1966, and amendments)


19. The obligation of Military Service begins, in time of peace, on the 1st of January of the year in which Brazilians reach the age of 18 years and extends through December 31 of the year when they reach the age of 45 years (LSM, art. 5). This obligation encompasses the recruiting process that antecedes the actual induction of conscripts into the Armed Forces and the actual service, which will take place in the year conscripts reach the age of 19 years, in accordance with the provisions of the LSM, Art. 3.
20. Article 5, paragraph 1 of the Military Service Law establishes that in war time the military service obligation may be extended according to national interests. As Brazil has never been at war since the Military Service Law was passed, this provision has never been applied. Although there are no established minimum age limits for this exceptional circumstance, the provision would naturally be applied in accordance with the international obligations undertaken by Brazil, particularly under the Convention, the Optional Protocol, and its binding declaration.
21. The proof of age obligatorily required from an individual before he is accepted for compulsory military service is the birth certificate, pursuant to Art. 43 of the Military Service Law’s Regulation (RLSM). A Brazilian whose birth has not been recorded, who has no valid identification document, or who ignores whether or where he was registered at birth will be enlisted according to the statements of two identified witnesses about his name, date and place of birth, his parents’ names, marital status, residence, and profession. These statements are recorded in a special book and have a provisional character, exclusively for military service purposes (RLSM, Art. 43, paragraph 2). After enlisting, whether he will be inducted into the Armed Forces or not, the conscript must regularize his situation by recording his birth and obtaining proof thereof or a valid legal justification.
22. Broadly speaking, compulsory recruiting in Brazil encompasses the following five steps:
(a) Call up. Call up refers to the summoning of Brazilians of a given class [year of birth], or of previous classes who are still in noncompliance with the military service, to report for the compulsory entry-level military service. This calling up is done each year through a General Conscription Plan approved by Presidential Decree. The term “class” refers to all Brazilians born between January 1 and December 31 of a given year. Pursuant to art. 17 of the LSM, a conscript class consists of all Brazilians who will attain the age of 19 years between January 1 and December 31 of the year in which they will be inducted into an Active Military Organization or inducted into Reserve Training Organizations. Taking into account the enlisting, selection, and assignment procedures, the General Conscription Plans are approved the year preceding compulsory enlisting. Thus, to enlist in 2011 and to serve in 2012, the class of those born in 1993 was called up through the General Conscription Plan approved and published in 2010.
(b) Enlisting. Enlisting refers to the reporting of Brazilians for recruitment for entry-level military service. Each year, when they attain the age of 18 years, Brazilians must report for enlisting to a Military Service Board (JSM), which has offices in most Brazilian municipalities. This must be done by April 30. To enlist, the young men must submit a birth certificate—as explained in the preceding paragraph—and a 3cm x 4 cm photograph. The Military Enlistment Certificate is the document that proves that a Brazilian has enlisted.
(c) Selection. Selection refers to the phase in which the men enlisted for entry-level military service are subjected to a physical, cultural, psychological, and moral evaluation (LSM, art. 13). The selection is carried out by stationary and mobile selection commissions distributed throughout the national territory, in July, August, and September. After selection, those considered apt receive instructions about the date and place for presenting themselves to learn about their assignment. The medical examinations for evaluating the conscripts’ health are described in detail in Annex 4 (General Instructions for the Health Evaluation of Conscripts in the Armed Forces, approved by Decree No. 60822 of June 7, 1967, and amendments).
(d) Assignment. At this stage, conscripts are told in which military organization they will serve. To the extent possible, an effort is made to assign the conscript to a military organization near his home.
(e) Induction or Registration. This is the stage when those considered apt in the selection process and have been assigned to a military organization are inducted into the Armed Forces. Induction is the incorporation of the conscript or volunteer into an Active Armed Forces Organization (LSM, art. 20). Registration refers to the conscript’s or volunteer’s enrollment in an Active Military Training School, Center, or Course or in a Reserve Training Organization (LSM, art. 22). Conscripts who have completed the upper stage of secondary education may enroll in a Reserve Officers Training Center (ROTC), or in a Reserve Officers Training Nucleus (ROTN), where they discharge their entry-level military service obligation as students and, if they so wish, may thereafter serve in the Army as temporary officers. Students who, at the time of enlisting, are enrolled in a School of Medicine, Pharmacy, Odontology, or Veterinary will have their induction deferred until they finish school. The year after finishing school, these health professionals must report to the Special Selection of Doctors, Pharmacists, Dentists, and Veterinarians. Those selected will do military service for one year and may continue as Health Service officers for an undetermined period.
23. Art. 3 of the Military Service Law establishes that the entry-level military service shall be rendered in the year when citizens reach the age of 19 years. Only after induction or registration, the recruits, now aged over 18 years, will be considered as members of the Armed Forces.


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