Eritrea: Sexual Violence against Female Army Conscripts  01/12/2008

Eritrea allocates around 25% of its budget for military use, the highest proportion in the world. In addition, 300,000 members of Eritrea's about four million strong population are currently in military service; again, the highest proportion per capita in the world.

Military or national service is obligatory in Eritrea. Article 6 of the country's Constitution states that “any Eritrean citizen from 18 to 50 years of age has the obligation of carrying out some form of “National Service”, either “Active National Service” and / or “Reserve Military Service”. Article 8 states that “all Eritrean citizens from the age of 18 to 40 years have the compulsory duty of performing Active National Service”. Active National Service is supposed by law to last for 18 months. In reality, it can in fact be indefinite.

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