Germany recruited over 2000 minors into the military in 2017, and about 90 of them remained below 18 even at the end of their six-month trial period.
More minors are being recruited to the military as the country continues its complex transition from a conscription-based to a volunteer military.
The information was revealed in an information request filed by the German Left party.
“Young people should not be used as cannon fodder in the Bundeswehr as soon as they come of age. As long as Germany recruits minors for military purposes, it cannot credibly criticize other countries. The German government is endangering its own efforts towards an international ban on the use of child soldiers,” said Left party Bundestag member Evrim Sommer who asked for the information, reported DW.
The country ended conscription system in 2011.
The minors are not allowed to do weapons training, and cannot be deployed to foreign missions, as the country confirms with the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), which the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2002.
But the UN has expressed concern about the military’s use of minors.