Last update: February 2023
This profile refers to the topic of recruitment under the ‘Duty of Self-Defence’ and the topic of child recruitment by Kurdish forces.
SDF/YPG are non-State armed forces, therefore, non-voluntary recruitment by SDF/YPG, even if imposed under the ‘Duty of Self-Defence’, is considered as forced recruitment. Forced recruitment and child recruitment are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution.
The individual assessment of whether there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as: gender, age, falling within an exception ground, ethno-religious background, being in an IDP situation, etc.
For men of recruitment age, see also 4.2.2. Draft evaders in relation to the GoS military service.
Nexus to a reason for persecution
While the risk of forced recruitment as such may not generally imply a nexus to a reason for persecution, the consequences of refusal, could, depending on individual circumstances, substantiate such a nexus, among other reasons, to (imputed) political opinion.
In the case of child recruitment, the individual circumstances of the applicant need to be taken into account to determine whether a nexus to a reason for persecution can be substantiated. For example, in the case of children who refuse to join the Kurdish forces, persecution may be for reasons of (imputed) political opinion.