Monday, January 18, 2010

New Military Service Law for Youth

A recent change in Bolivia’s Mandatory Military Service Law allows youth to complete their military
service through domestic social service. The deputy minister of defense, Jose Luis Prudencio, explained
that the modification helps  guarantee that the Bolivian Armed Forces will have a steady flow of recruits. 
Distinct from conscientious objectors, these recruits will perform social service projects in areas identified by the military.  This program will not replace the pre-military program that allows many young Bolivians to receive special training and schooling, but will provide these cadets another way to continue their military service.    
Bolivian law requires men aged 18-49 to complete one year of military service, but the military has struggled with insufficient numbers of volunteers in the past, leading to compulsory recruitment and enlistment of youth as young as 14. 

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