conscientious objector
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A conscientious objector (often shortened to conchie) is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, air forces, and naval forces, whether as a chosen job ( volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription). Some nations (e.g., Mexico) require ...
" on the grounds of
freedom of thought Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints. Overview Every person attempts to have a cognitive proficiency ...
, conscience, or
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, ...
. The term has also been extended to objecting to working for the
military–industrial complex The expression military–industrial complex (MIC) describes the relationship between a country's military and the defense industry that supplies it, seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy. A driving factor behind the r ...
due to a crisis of conscience. In some countries, conscientious objectors are assigned to an alternative
civilian service Alternative civilian service, also called alternative services, civilian service, non-military service, and substitute service, is a form of national service performed in lieu of military conscription for various reasons, such as conscientious ...
as a substitute for conscription or military service. A number of organizations around the world celebrate the principle on May 15 as International Conscientious Objection Day. On March 8, 1995, the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006. It was a subsidiary body of ...
resolution 1995/83 stated that "persons performing military service should not be excluded from the right to have conscientious objections to military service". This was re-affirmed on April 22, 1998, when resolution 1998/77 recognized that "persons lreadyperforming military service may ''develop'' conscientious objections".


History

Many conscientious objectors have been executed, imprisoned, or otherwise penalized when their beliefs led to actions conflicting with their society's legal system or government. The legal definition and status of conscientious objection has varied over the years and from nation to nation. Religious beliefs were a starting point in many nations for legally granting conscientious objector status. The first recorded conscientious objector, Maximilianus, was conscripted into the Roman Army in the year 295, but "told the Proconsul in Numidia that because of his religious convictions he could not serve in the military". He was executed for this, and was later canonized as Saint Maximilian. An early recognition of conscientious objection was granted by
William the Silent William the Silent (24 April 153310 July 1584), also known as William the Taciturn (translated from nl, Willem de Zwijger), or, more commonly in the Netherlands, William of Orange ( nl, Willem van Oranje), was the main leader of the Dutch Re ...
to the Dutch
Mennonite Mennonites are groups of Anabaptist Christian church communities of denominations. The name is derived from the founder of the movement, Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings about Reformed Christianity during the Radi ...
s in 1575. They could refuse military service in exchange for a monetary payment.Robert Paul Churchill, "Conscientious Objection", in Donald K. Wells, ''An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics''. Greenwood Press 1996. (pp. 99–102). Formal legislation to exempt objectors from fighting was first granted in mid-18th-century
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world. It i ...
following problems with attempting to force
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belief in each human's abil ...
into military service. In 1757, when the first attempt was made to establish a British Militia as a professional national military reserve, a clause in the Militia Ballot Act allowed Quakers exemption from military service. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territorie ...
, conscientious objection was permitted from the country's founding, although regulation was left to individual states prior to the introduction of conscription.


International law


Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In 1948, the issue of the right to "conscience" was dealt with by the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. Curr ...
in Article 18 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings. Drafted by a UN committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, ...
. It reads: The proclamation was
ratified Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent that lacked the authority to bind the principal legally. Ratification defines the international act in which a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties inten ...
during the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with 8 abstentions. In 1974, the Assistant
Secretary-General of the United Nations The secretary-general of the United Nations (UNSG or SG) is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Secretariat, one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The role of the secretary-g ...
,
Seán MacBride Seán MacBride (26 January 1904 – 15 January 1988) was an Irish Clann na Poblachta politician who served as Minister for External Affairs from 1948 to 1951, Leader of Clann na Poblachta from 1946 to 1965 and Chief of Staff of the IRA from 19 ...
said, in his Nobel Lecture, "To the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights one more might, with relevance, be added. It is ' The Right to Refuse to Kill'." In 1976, the United Nations
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually made by and between sovereign states, but can include international organizations, individuals, business entities, and other legal pe ...
the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty that commits nations to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, fr ...
entered into force In law, coming into force or entry into force (also called commencement) is the process by which legislation, regulations, treaties and other legal instruments come to have legal force and effect. The term is closely related to the date of this t ...
. It was based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was originally created in 1966. Nations that have signed this treaty are bound by it. Its Article 18 begins: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion." However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights left the issue of conscientious objection inexplicit, as in this quote from
War Resisters International War Resisters' International (WRI), headquartered in London, is an international anti-war organisation with members and affiliates in over 30 countries. History ''War Resisters' International'' was founded in Bilthoven, Netherlands in 1921 unde ...
: "Article 18 of the Covenant does put some limits on the right o freedom of thought, conscience and religion stating that tsmanifestations must not infringe on public safety, order, health or morals. Some states argue that such limitations n the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religionwould erivativelypermit them to make conscientious objection during time of war a threat to public safety, or mass conscientious objection a disruption to public order, ... ome stateseven rguethat it is a 'moral' duty to serve the state in its military." On July 30, 1993, explicit clarification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 18 was made in the United Nations
Human Rights Committee The United Nations Human Rights Committee is a treaty body composed of 18 experts, established by a 1966 human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Committee meets for three four-week sessions per y ...
general comment 22, Paragraph 11: "The Covenant does not explicitly refer to a right to conscientious objection, but the Committee believes that such a right can be derived from article 18, inasmuch as the obligation to use lethal force may seriously conflict with the freedom of conscience and the right to manifest one's religion or belief." In 2006, the committee has found for the first time a right to conscientious objection under article 18, although not unanimously. In 1997, an announcement of Amnesty International's forthcoming campaign and briefing for the
UN Commission on Human Rights The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006. It was a subsidiary body of ...
included this quote: "The right to conscientious objection to military service is not a marginal concern outside the mainstream of international human rights protection and promotion." In 1998, the Human Rights Commission reiterated previous statements and added "states should ... refrain from subjecting conscientious objectors ... to repeated punishment for failure to perform military service". It also encouraged states "to consider granting asylum to those conscientious objectors compelled to leave their country of origin because they fear persecution owing to their refusal to perform military service ..." In 2001,
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR) enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union (EU) citizens and residents into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclai ...
recognised the right to conscientious objection.


Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status

The Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status (the Handbook) of the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a United Nations agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integrati ...
(UNHCR) states:
171. Not every conviction, genuine though it may be, will constitute a sufficient reason for claiming refugee status after desertion or draft-evasion. It is not enough for a person to be in disagreement with his government regarding the political justification for a particular military action. Where, however, the type of military action, with which an individual does not wish to be associated, is condemned by the international community as contrary to basic rules of human conduct, punishment for desertion or draft-evasion could, in the light of all other requirements of the definition, in itself be regarded as persecution.


Selective conscientious objection

Air Commodore
Lionel Charlton Air Commodore Lionel Evelyn Oswald Charlton, (7 July 1879 – 18 April 1958) was a British infantry officer who served in the Second Boer War. During the First World War, Charlton held several command and staff posts in the Royal Flying Corps ...
, of the British Royal Air Force (RAF), served in the military from 1898 to 1928. In 1923 he selectively refused to serve in the RAF Iraq Command. (He later went on to serve as Air Officer Commanding No 3 Group.) On June 4, 1967,
John Courtney Murray John Courtney Murray (September 12, 1904 – August 16, 1967) was an American Jesuit priest and theologian, who was especially known for his efforts to reconcile Catholicism and religious pluralism, particularly focusing on the relationsh ...
, an American
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , image_size = 175px , caption = ChristogramOfficial seal of the Jesuits , abbreviation = SJ , nickname = Jesuits , formation = , founders ...
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particu ...
and theologian, delivered an address at
Western Maryland College McDaniel College is a private college in Westminster, Maryland. Established in 1867, it was known as Western Maryland College until 2002 when it was renamed McDaniel College in honor of an alumnus who gave a lifetime of service to the college. ...
concerning a more specific type of conscientious objection: "the issue of selective conscientious objection, conscientious objection to particular wars, or as it is sometimes called, discretionary armed service." On March 8, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case of ''
Gillette v. United States ''Gillette v. United States'', 401 U.S. 437 (1971), is a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States, adding constraints on the terms of conscientious objection resulting from draftees in the Selective Service.. Background and Consolida ...
'' that "the exemption for those who oppose 'participation in war in any form' applies to those who oppose participating in all war and not to those who object to participation in a particular war only." On September 24, 2003, in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, 27 reserve pilots and former pilots refused to serve in only specific missions. These specific missions included "civilian population centers" in "the ccupiedterritories". These pilots clarified: "We ... shall continue to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and the Air Force for every mission in defense of the state of Israel." On May 25, 2005, journalist Jack Random wrote the following: "The case of Sergeant Kevin Benderman ( Iraq War Resister) raises the burning issue of selective conscientious objection: While it is universally accepted that an individual cannot be compelled against conscience to war in general, does the same hold for an individual who objects, in the depths of the soul, to a particular war?"


Religious motives

Cases of behavior which could be considered as religiously motivated conscientious objection are historically attested long before the modern term appeared. For example, the Medieval '' Orkneyinga Saga'' mentions that
Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney Saint Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney, sometimes known as Magnus the Martyr, was Earl of Orkney from 1106 to about 1115. Magnus's grandparents, Earl Thorfinn and his wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, had two sons, Erlend and Paul, who were twin ...
 – the future Saint Magnus – had a reputation for piety and gentleness, and because of his religious convictions refused to fight in a Viking raid on
Anglesey Anglesey (; cy, (Ynys) Môn ) is an island off the north-west coast of Wales. It forms a principal area known as the Isle of Anglesey, that includes Holy Island across the narrow Cymyran Strait and some islets and skerries. Anglesey island ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
, instead staying on board his ship singing
psalm The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived f ...
s. The reasons for refusing to perform military service are varied. Many conscientious objectors cite religious reasons.
Unitarian Universalists Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists assert no creed, but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth, guided by ...
object to war in their sixth principle "The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all". Members of the Historic Peace Churches such as Quakers, Anabaptists (Mennonites,
Amish The Amish (; pdc, Amisch; german: link=no, Amische), formally the Old Order Amish, are a group of traditionalist Anabaptist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churc ...
, Old Order Mennonite,
Conservative Mennonites Conservative Mennonites include numerous Conservative Anabaptist groups that identify with the theologically conservative element among Mennonite Anabaptist Christian fellowships, but who are not Old Order groups or mainline denominations. Co ...
, the
Bruderhof Communities The (; 'place of brothers') is an Anabaptist Christian movement that was founded in Germany in 1920 by Eberhard Arnold. The movement has communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Paraguay, and Australia. The Bru ...
and
Church of the Brethren The Church of the Brethren is an Anabaptist Christian denomination in the Schwarzenau Brethren (german: link=no, Schwarzenauer Neutäufer "Schwarzenau New Baptists") tradition that was organized in 1708 by Alexander Mack in Schwarzenau, Germ ...
), as well as Holiness Pacifists such as the
Reformed Free Methodist Church The Reformed Free Methodist Church (RFMC) was a Methodist denomination in the conservative holiness movement. History The formation of the Reformed Free Methodist Church is a part of the history of Methodism in the United States; it was founded i ...
,
Emmanuel Association of Churches __NOTOC__ The Emmanuel Association of Churches is a Methodist denomination in the conservative holiness movement. The formation of the Emmanuel Association is a part of the history of Methodism in the United States. It was formed in 1937 as a re ...
, the
Immanuel Missionary Church The Immanuel Missionary Church (IMC) is a Methodist denomination within the conservative holiness movement. The formation of the Immanuel Missionary Church is a part of the history of Methodism in the United States. The Immanuel Missionary Chu ...
and Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma), object to war from the conviction that Christian life is incompatible with military action, because
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other names and titles), was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious ...
enjoins his followers to love their enemies and to refuse violence. The Book of Discipline of the Reformed Free Methodist Church teaches: Since the American Civil War,
Seventh-day Adventists The Seventh-day Adventist Church is an Adventist Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the seventh day of the week in the Christian (Gregorian) and the Hebrew calendar, as the Sabbath, and i ...
have been known as non-combatants, and have done work in hospitals or to give medical care rather than combat roles, and the church has upheld the non-combative position. Jehovah's Witnesses and
Christadelphians The Christadelphians () or Christadelphianism are a restorationist and millenarian Christian group who hold a view of biblical unitarianism. There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in around 120 countries. The movement developed in the ...
, refuse to participate in the armed services on the grounds that they believe they should be neutral in worldly conflicts and often cite the latter portion o
Isaiah 2:4
which states, "...neither shall they learn war anymore." Other objections can stem from a deep sense of responsibility toward humanity as a whole, or from simple denial that any government possesses the
moral authority Moral authority is authority premised on principles, or fundamental truths, which are independent of written, or positive, laws. As such, moral authority necessitates the existence of and adherence to truth. Because truth does not change, the princi ...
to command warlike behavior from its citizens. The varied experiences of non-combatants are illustrated by those of Seventh-day Adventists when there was mandatory military service: "Many Seventh-day Adventists refuse to enter the army as combatants, but participate as medics, ambulance drivers, etc. During World War II in Germany, many SDA conscientious objectors were sent to concentration camps or mental institutions; some were executed. Some Seventh-day Adventists volunteered for the US Army's Operation Whitecoat, participating in research to help others. The Church preferred to call them "conscientious participants", because they were willing to risk their lives as test subjects in potentially life-threatening research. Over 2,200 Seventh-day Adventists volunteered in experiments involving various infectious agents during the 1950s through the 1970s in Fort Detrick, MD." Earlier, a schism arose during and after World War I between Seventh-day Adventists in Germany who agreed to serve in the military if conscripted and those who rejected all participation in warfare—the latter group eventually forming a separate church (the
Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement is a Protestant Christian denomination in the Sabbatarian Adventist movement that formed from a schism in the European Seventh-day Adventist Church during World War I over the position its European church l ...
). In the
early Christian Church Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to already established Jewish centers in the Holy Land and the Jewish ...
followers of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other names and titles), was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious ...
refused to take up arms. After the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterr ...
officially embraced
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.38 billion followers representing one-third of the global pop ...
, the
just war The just war theory ( la, bellum iustum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics which is studied by military leaders, theologians, ethicists and policy makers. The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure that a war i ...
theology was developed in order to reconcile warfare with Christian belief. After Theodosius I made Christianity an official religion of the Empire, this position slowly developed into the official position of the Western Church. In the 11th century, there was a further shift of opinion in the Latin-Christian tradition with the crusades, strengthening the idea and acceptability of
holy war A religious war or a war of religion, sometimes also known as a holy war ( la, sanctum bellum), is a war which is primarily caused or justified by differences in religion. In the modern period, there are frequent debates over the extent to wh ...
. Objectors became a minority. Some theologians see the
Constantinian shift ''Constantinian shift'' is used by some theologians and historians of antiquity to describe the political and theological changes that took place during the 4th-century under the leadership of Emperor Constantine the Great. Rodney Clapp claims th ...
and the loss of
Christian pacifism Christian pacifism is the theological and ethical position according to which pacifism and non-violence have both a scriptural and rational basis for Christians, and affirms that any form of violence is incompatible with the Christian faith. Chri ...
as the great failing of the Church.
Ben Salmon Benjamin Joseph Salmon (1888–1932) was an American Christian pacifist, Roman Catholic, conscientious objector and outspoken critic of just war theory, who believed no war could be morally justified. Biography Salmon was born and raised in ...
was a Catholic conscientious objector during World War I and outspoken critic of Just War theology. The Catholic Church denounced him and ''The New York Times'' described him as a "spy suspect". The US military (in which he was never inducted) charged him with desertion and spreading propaganda, then sentenced him to death (this was later revised to 25 years hard labor). On June 5, 1917, Salmon wrote in a letter to President Wilson: Because of their conscientious objection to participation in military service, whether armed or unarmed, Jehovah's Witnesses have often faced imprisonment or other penalties. In
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, for example, before the introduction of alternative civilian service in 1997, hundreds of Witnesses were imprisoned, some for three years or even more for their refusal. In
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and ''Ox ...
, young Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned because of their conscientious objection to military service; this was discontinued in November 2013. The government of South Korea also imprisons hundreds for refusing the draft. In
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
, virtually every Jehovah's Witness is exempted from military service. For believers in Indian religions, the opposition to warfare may be based on either the general idea of
ahimsa Ahimsa (, IAST: ''ahiṃsā'', ) is the ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings. It is a key virtue in most Indian religions: Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.Bajpai, Shiva (2011). The History of India ...
, nonviolence, or on an explicit prohibition of violence by their religion, e.g., for a
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. It originated in northern India as a -movement in the 5th century BCE, and ...
, one of the
five precepts The Five precepts ( sa, pañcaśīla, italic=yes; pi, pañcasīla, italic=yes) or five rules of training ( sa, pañcaśikṣapada, italic=yes; pi, pañcasikkhapada, italic=yes) is the most important system of morality for Buddhist lay peo ...
is "Pānātipātā veramaṇi sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi", or "I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures", which is in obvious opposition to the practice of warfare. The 14th Dalai Lama has stated that war "should be relegated to the dustbin of history". On the other hand, many Buddhist sects, especially in Japan, have been thoroughly militarized, warrior monks (''yamabushi'' or ''
sōhei were Buddhist warrior monks of both classical and feudal Japan. At certain points in history, they held considerable power, obliging the imperial and military governments to collaborate. The prominence of the ''sōhei'' rose in parallel wit ...
'') participating in the civil wars. Hindu beliefs do not go against the concept of war, as seen in the
Gita The Bhagavad Gita (; sa, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता, lit=The Song by God, translit=śrīmadbhagavadgītā;), often referred to as the Gita (), is a 700- verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic ''Mahabharata'' ( ...
. Both Sikhs and Hindus believe war should be a last resort and should be fought to sustain life and morality in society. Followers of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith is a religion founded in the 19th century that teaches the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh in the 19th century, it initially developed in Iran and parts of the ...
are advised to do social service instead of active army service, but when this is not possible because of obligations in certain countries, the Baháʼí laws include ''loyalty to one's government'', and the individual should perform the army service. Some practitioners of
pagan religions Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, or ethnic religions other than Judaism. ...
, particularly
Wicca Wicca () is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religion categorise it as both a new religious movement and as part of the occultist stream of Western esotericism. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and w ...
, may object on the grounds of the
Wiccan rede The Wiccan Rede is a statement that provides the key moral system in the neopagan religion of Wicca and certain other related witchcraft-based faiths. A common form of the Rede is ''An ye harm none, do what ye will'' which was taken from a long ...
, which states "An it harm none, do what ye will" (or variations). The
threefold law The Rule of Three (also Three-fold Law or Law of Return) is a religious tenet held by some Wiccans, Neo-Pagans and occultists. It states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that per ...
may also be grounds for objection. A notable example of a conscientious objector was the
Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationality law * Austrian German dialect * Something associated with the country Austria, for example: ...
devout
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *'' Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a lette ...
Christian
Franz Jägerstätter Franz Jägerstätter, O.F.S. (also spelled Jaegerstaetter in English; born Franz Huber, 20 May 1907 – 9 August 1943) was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II. Jägerstätter was sentenced to death and executed for his refusa ...
, who was executed on August 9, 1943, for openly refusing to serve in the Nazi
Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the ''Heer'' (army), the '' Kriegsmarine'' (navy) and the ''Luftwaffe'' (air force). The designation "''Wehrmacht''" replaced the previo ...
, consciously accepting the penalty of death. He was declared Blessed by
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: link=no, Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the Church and the soverei ...
in 2007 for dying for his beliefs, and is viewed as a symbol of self-sacrificing resistance.


Alternatives for objectors

Some conscientious objectors are unwilling to serve the military in any capacity, while others accept noncombatant roles. While conscientious objection is usually the refusal to collaborate with military organizations, as a combatant in war or in any supportive role, some advocate compromising forms of conscientious objection. One compromising form is to accept
non-combatant Non-combatant is a term of art in the law of war and international humanitarian law to refer to civilians who are not taking a direct part in hostilities; persons, such as combat medics and military chaplains, who are members of the belliger ...
roles during conscription or
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, air forces, and naval forces, whether as a chosen job ( volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription). Some nations (e.g., Mexico) require ...
. Alternatives to military or civilian service include serving an imprisonment or other punishment for refusing conscription, falsely claiming unfitness for duty by feigning an allergy or a heart condition, delaying conscription until the maximum drafting age, or seeking refuge in a country which does not extradite those wanted for military conscription. Avoiding military service is sometimes labeled
draft dodging Draft evasion is any successful attempt to elude a government-imposed obligation to serve in the military forces of one's nation. Sometimes draft evasion involves refusing to comply with the military draft laws of one's nation. Illegal draft ev ...
, particularly if the goal is accomplished through dishonesty or evasive maneuvers. However, many people who support conscription will distinguish between " bona fide" ''conscientious objection'' and ''draft dodging'', which they view as evasion of military service without a valid excuse. Conservative Mennonites do not object to serving their country in peaceful alternatives (
alternative service Alternative civilian service, also called alternative services, civilian service, non-military service, and substitute service, is a form of national service performed in lieu of military conscription for various reasons, such as conscientious ...
) such as hospital work, farming, forestry, road construction and similar occupations. Their objection is in being part in any military capacity whether noncombatant or regular service. During World War II and the Korean, Vietnam war eras they served in many such capacities in alternative I-W service programs initially through the Mennonite Central Committee and now through their own alternatives. Despite the fact that international institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe (CoE) regard and promote conscientious objection as a human right, , it still does not have a legal basis in most countries. Among the roughly one-hundred countries that have conscription, only thirty countries have some legal provisions, 25 of them in Europe. In Europe, most countries with conscription more or less fulfill international guidelines on conscientious objection legislation (except for
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is ge ...
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with ...
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of B ...
and
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
) today. In many countries outside Europe, especially in armed conflict areas (e.g.
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo (french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC), colloquially "La RDC" ), informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in ...
), conscientious objection is punished severely. In 1991, The Peace Abbey established the National Registry for Conscientious Objection where people can publicly state their refusal to participate in armed conflict.


Conscientious objection around the world


Belgium

Conscription was mandatory to all able-bodied
Belgian Belgian may refer to: * Something of, or related to, Belgium * Belgians, people from Belgium or of Belgian descent * Languages of Belgium, languages spoken in Belgium, such as Dutch, French, and German *Ancient Belgian language, an extinct languag ...
males until 1994, when it was suspended. Civilian service was possible since 1963. Objectors could apply for the status of conscience objector. When granted, they did an alternative service with the civil service or with a socio-cultural organisation. The former would last 1.5 times as long as the shortest military service, the latter twice as long. After their service, objectors are not allowed to take jobs that require them to carry weapons, such as police jobs, until the age of 42. Since conscription was suspended in 1994 and military service is voluntary, the status of conscience objector can not be granted anymore in Belgium.


Canada

Mennonites and other similar peace churches in Canada were automatically exempt from any type of service during Canada's involvement in World War I by provisions of the
Order in Council An Order-in-Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realms. In the United Kingdom this legislation is formally made in the name of the monarch by and with the advice and consent of the Privy Council (''Kin ...
of 1873 yet initially, many were imprisoned until the matter was again resettled. With pressure of public opinion, the Canadian government barred entry of additional
Mennonite Mennonites are groups of Anabaptist Christian church communities of denominations. The name is derived from the founder of the movement, Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings about Reformed Christianity during the Radi ...
and
Hutterite Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a communal ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century ...
immigrants, rescinding the privileges of the Order in Council. During Canada's involvement in World War II, Canadian conscientious objectors were given the options of noncombatant military service, serving in the medical or dental corps under military control or working in parks and on roads under civilian supervision. Over 95% chose the latter and were placed in Alternative Service camps. Initially the men worked on road building, forestry and firefighting projects. After May 1943, as the labour shortage developed within the nation and another Conscription Crisis burgeoned, men were shifted into agriculture, education and industry. The 10,700 Canadian objectors were mostly Mennonites (63%) and
Dukhobors The Doukhobours or Dukhobors (russian: духоборы / духоборцы, dukhobory / dukhobortsy; ) are a Spiritual Christian ethnoreligious group of Russian origin. They are one of many non-Orthodox ethno-confessional faiths in Russia a ...
(20%).


Colombia

Conscientious objection is recognised in Colombia.


Czechoslovakia

In
Czechoslovakia , rue, Чеськословеньско, , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 ...
, those not willing to enter mandatory military service could avoid it by signing a contract for work lasting years in unattractive occupations, such as mining. Those who didn't sign were imprisoned. Both numbers were tiny. After the communist party lost its power in 1989, alternative civil service was established. As of 2006, both the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The ...
and
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
have abolished conscription.


Denmark

Any male getting drafted, but unwilling to serve, has the possibility to avoid military service by instead serving community service for the duration of the conscription.


Eritrea

There is no right to conscientious objection to military service in Eritrea – which is of an indefinite length – and those who refuse the draft are imprisoned. Some Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors have been in jail since 1994.


Finland

Finland introduced conscription in 1881, but its enforcement was suspended in 1903 as part of Russification. During the
Finnish Civil War The Finnish Civil War; . Other designations: Brethren War, Citizen War, Class War, Freedom War, Red Rebellion and Revolution, . According to 1,005 interviews done by the newspaper ''Aamulehti'', the most popular names were as follows: Civil W ...
in 1918, conscription was reintroduced for all able-bodied men. In 1922, the option of noncombatant military service was introduced, but service in the military remained compulsory on pain of imprisonment. After the struggle of pacifist
Arndt Pekurinen Arndt Juho Pekurinen (29 August 1905 – 5 November 1941) was a Finnish pacifist and conscientious objector. In 1926, Pekurinen repeatedly refused mandatory conscription, leading to his imprisonment between 1929 and 1931. He refused to eithe ...
a law was passed providing for a peacetime-only alternative to military service, or civilian service (Finnish ''siviilipalvelus''). The law was dubbed "Lex Pekurinen" after him. During the
Winter War The Winter War,, sv, Vinterkriget, rus, Зи́мняя война́, r=Zimnyaya voyna. The names Soviet–Finnish War 1939–1940 (russian: link=no, Сове́тско-финская война́ 1939–1940) and Soviet–Finland War 1 ...
, Pekurinen and other conscientious objectors were imprisoned, and Pekurinen was eventually executed at the front in 1941, during the
Continuation War The Continuation War, also known as the Second Soviet-Finnish War, was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944, as part of World War II.; sv, fortsättningskriget; german: Fortsetzungskrieg. A ...
. After the war, a conscientious objector's civilian service lasted 16 months, whereas military service was 8 months at its shortest. To qualify for civilian service, an objector had to explain his conviction before a board of inspection that included military officers and clergymen. In 1987, the duration of the service was shortened to 13 months and the board of inspection was abolished. In 2008, the term was further shortened to 12 months to match the duration of the longest military service (that of officer trainees and technical crew). Today, a person subject to conscription may apply for civilian service at any time before or during his military service, and the application is accepted as a matter of course. A female performing voluntary military service can quit her service anytime during the first 45 days, however, if she wants to quit after those 45 days she would be treated like a male and assigned to civilian service. Persons who have completed their civilian service during peacetime have, according to the legislation enacted in 2008, the right to serve in non-military duties also during a crisis situation. They may be called to serve in various duties with the rescue services or other necessary work of a non-military nature. Persons who declare themselves to be conscientious objectors only after a crisis has started must, however, prove their conviction before a special board. Before the new legislation, the right to conscientious objection was acknowledged only in peacetime. The changes to the service term and to the legal status of objectors during a crisis situation were made as a response to human rights concerns voiced by several international bodies, who are overseeing the implementation of human rights agreements. These organisations had demanded Finland to take measures to improve its legislation concerning conscientious objectors, which they considered discriminatory. None of these organisations have yet raised concerns on the current legislation. There are a small number of total objectors who refuse even civilian service, and are imprisoned for six months. This is not registered into the person's criminal record.


France

The creation of a legal status for conscientious objectors in France was the subject of a long struggle involving for instance or the much-publicised trials of Protestant activists Jacques Martin, Philippe Vernier and Camille Rombault in 1932–1933Jean-Paul Cahn, Françoise Knopper, Anne-Marie Saint-Gille, De la Guerre juste à la paix juste: Aspects confessionnels de la construction de la paix dans l'espace franco-allemand (XVIe-XXe siècle), Collection Histoire et civilisations, Presses Universitaires Septentrion, 2008, 313 pages, , p.168 or the hunger strike of anarchist Louis Lecoin in 1962. The legal status law was passed in December 1963, 43 years (and many prison sentences) after the first requests. In 1983, a new law passed by socialist Interior Minister
Pierre Joxe Pierre Joxe, KBE (; born 28 November 1934) is a former French Socialist politician and has been a member of the Constitutional Council of France between 2001 and 2010. A graduate of the École nationale d'administration, he joined the Court o ...
considerably improved this status, simplifying the conditions under which the status would be granted. Conscientious objectors were then free to choose an activity in the social realm where they would spend their civil service time. However, in order to avoid too many applications for civil service at the expense of the military, the duration of the civil service is however kept twice as long as the military service. The effect of these laws was suspended in 2001 when compulsory military service was abolished in France. The special prison at Strasbourg for Jehovah's Witnesses, who refuse to join any military, was also abolished. Since 1986, the associations defending conscientious objection in France have chosen to celebrate their cause on 15 May.


Germany


Nazi Germany

In
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
, conscientious objection was not recognized in the law. In theory, objectors would be drafted and then court-martialled for desertion. The practice was even harsher: going beyond the letter of an already extremely flexible law, conscientious objection was considered subversion of military strength, a crime normally punished with death. On September 15, 1939, August Dickmann, a Jehovah's Witness, and the first conscientious objector of the war to be executed, died by a firing squad at the
Sachsenhausen concentration camp Sachsenhausen () or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a German Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used from 1936 until April 1945, shortly before the defeat of Nazi Germany in May later that year. It mainly held political prisoner ...
. Among others,
Franz Jägerstätter Franz Jägerstätter, O.F.S. (also spelled Jaegerstaetter in English; born Franz Huber, 20 May 1907 – 9 August 1943) was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II. Jägerstätter was sentenced to death and executed for his refusa ...
was executed after his conscientious objection, on the grounds that he could not fight in the forces of the evil side.


East Germany

After World War II in
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990. In these years the state ...
, there was no official right to conscientious objection. Nevertheless, and uniquely among the Eastern bloc, objections were accepted and the objectors assigned to construction units. They were however part of the military, so that a fully civilian alternative did not exist. Also, "
construction soldier A construction soldier (german: Bausoldat, BS) was a non-combat role of the National People's Army, the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), from 1964 to 1990. ''Bausoldaten'' were conscientious objectors who accepted co ...
s" were discriminated against in their later professional life.


West Germany and reunified Germany

According to Article 4(3) of the
German constitution The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution of the Germany, Federal Republic of Germany. The West German Constitution was approved in Bonn on 8 May 1949 an ...
: "No person may be forced against their conscience to perform armed military service. Details shall be regulated by a federal law." According to Article 12a, a law may be passed to require every male from the age of 18 to military service called ''Wehrdienst''; also, a law can require conscientious objectors to perform non-military service instead called ''Wehrersatzdienst'', literally "military replacement service", or colloquially ''
Zivildienst Zivildienst is the German denomination for the alternative civilian service for conscripted persons who are conscientious objectors to fulfill their national service, typically in the fields of social work (e.g. hospitals, retirement homes, em ...
''. These laws were applicable and demanded compulsory service in the German armed forces (German: ''Bundeswehr'') until the abolition of draft in 2011. Initially, each conscientious objector had to appear in person to a panel hearing at the draft office (or contest a negative decision at the
administrative court An administrative court is a type of court specializing in administrative law, particularly disputes concerning the exercise of public power. Their role is to ascertain that official acts are consistent with the law. Such courts are considered s ...
). The suspension of the procedure (1977), allowing to "object with a post card", was ruled unconstitutional in 1978. Beginning in 1983, competence was shifted to the ''Kreiswehrersatzamt'' (district military replacement office), which had discretion to either approve or reject a conscientious objection, which had to consist of a detailed written statement by an applicant giving reasons as to why the applicant was conscientiously objecting. This was generally just a formality, and objections were not often rejected. In later years in particular however, with the rise of the Internet, conscientious objections fell into disrepute because of the ease of being able to simply download existing example objections. It earned some conscientious objections the suspicion of an applicant simply attempting an easy way out of military service. On the other hand, certain organizations within the German peace movement had been offering pamphlets for decades giving suggestions to applicants as to the proper wording and structure of an objection which would have the greatest chances of success. Following a 1985 Federal Constitution Court decision, Wehrersatzdienst could be no simple choice of convenience for an applicant, but he had to cite veritable conflict of conscience which made him unable to perform any kind of military service at all. If there was doubt about the true nature of an objector's application, he could be summoned to appear before a panel at the Kreiswehrersatzamt to explain his reasons in person. An approved conscientious objection in any case then meant that an applicant was required by law to perform Wehrersatzdienst. Complete objection both to military and replacement service was known as ''Totalverweigerung''; it was illegal and could be punished with a fine or a suspended custodial sentence. Nearly the only legal way to get both out of military service and replacement service was to be deemed physically unfit for military service. Both men who entered military service and those who wanted to go into replacement service had to pass a military physical examination at the military replacement office. Five categories/levels of physical fitness, or ''Tauglichkeitsstufen'', existed. ''Tauglichkeitsstufe 5'', in short ''T5'', meant that a person was rejected for military service and thus also did not need to enter replacement service. ''T5'' status was usually only granted if a person had physical or mental disabilities or was otherwise significantly impaired, such as due to very poor eyesight or debilitating chronic illnesses. However, in the last years of the draft, T5 was increasingly given to potential recruits with only minor physical or mental handicaps. Another way to get out of service completely was the ''two brothers rule'', which stated that if two older brothers had already served in the military, any following male children of a family were exempt from service. Due to
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or , ) was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin during the years of the Cold War. Although West Berlin was de jure not part of West Germany, lacked any sovereignty, and was under mi ...
's special status between the end of the Second World War and 1990 as a city governed by foreign military powers, draft did not apply within its borders. This made Berlin a safe haven for many young people who chose to move to the city to prevent criminal court repercussions for ''Totalverweigerung''. As ''Totalverweigerer'' were often part of the far-left political spectrum, this was one factor which spawned a politically active left-wing and left-wing radical scene in the city. Wehrersatzdienst was for a long time considerably longer than military service, by up to a third, even when the duration of service was gradually reduced following reunification and the end of the Cold War. This was held by some as a violation of constitutional principles, but was upheld in several court decisions based on the reasoning that former service personnel could be redrafted for military exercises called ''Wehrübungen'', while somebody who had served out his replacement service could not. Moreover, work conditions under military service typically involved more hardship and inconvenience than Wehrersatzdienst. In 2004, military service and Wehrersatzdienst were then made to last equal lengths of time. Military service and draft were controversial during much of their existence. Reasons included the consideration that Germans could be made to fight against their fellow Germans in East Germany. Moreover, draft only applied to men, which was seen as gender based discrimination by some, but was often countered by the argument that women usually gave up their careers either temporarily or permanently to raise their children. With the end of the Cold War and the German military's primary purpose of defending its home territory increasingly looking doubtful, draft also began to become more arbitrary, as only certain portions of a particular birth year were drafted (usually those in very healthy physical condition), while others weren't. This was seen as a problem of ''Wehrgerechtigkeit'', or equal justice of military service. Then-German President
Roman Herzog Roman Herzog (; 5 April 1934 – 10 January 2017) was a German politician, judge and legal scholar, who served as the president of Germany from 1994 to 1999. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), he was the first president to be elec ...
said in a 1994 speech (which was frequently cited as an argument for draft abolition) that only the necessity for national defense, not any other arguments can justify draft. On the other hand, this logic tended to not be extended to men serving Wehrersatzdienst, as they usually worked in fields of public health,
elderly care Elderly care, or simply eldercare (also known in parts of the English-speaking world as aged care), serves the needs and requirements of senior citizens. It encompasses assisted living, adult daycare, long-term care, nursing homes (often call ...
, medical assistance or assistance for the disabled. Their relatively low-paid work was seen as an ever more important backbone of a health sector which was grappling with rapidly increasing costs of care. In 2011 the mandatory draft was abolished in Germany, mainly due to a perceived lack of aforementioned necessity. The ''Bundeswehr'' now solely relies on service members who deliberately choose it as a career path. Neither Article 12a (establishing the possibility of draft) nor Article 4 (3) (permitting conscientious objection) have been removed from the German Constitution. In theory, this makes a full reversion to draft (and Wehrersatzdienst) possible, if it is thought to be necessary.


Hungary

Conscription was suspended in Hungary in 2004. Before being drafted anyone can apply for the status of conscientious objector and fulfil his duties in unarmed military service or civilian service.


Israel

All Israeli citizens and permanent residents are liable to military service. However, the Ministry of Defense has used its discretion under article 36 of this law to automatically exempt all non-Jewish women and all Arab men, except for the Druze, from military service ever since Israel was established.
Israeli Arabs The Arab citizens of Israel are the largest ethnic minority in the country. They comprise a hybrid community of Israeli citizens with a heritage of Palestinian citizenship, mixed religions (Muslim, Christian or Druze), bilingual in Arabic an ...
may volunteer to perform military service, but very few do so (except among the Bedouin population of Israel). In discussing the status of the armed forces shortly after the founding of the State of Israel, representatives of orthodox religious parties argued that
yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a traditional Jewish educational institution focused on the study of Rabbinic literature, primarily the Talmud and halacha (Jewish law), while Torah and Jewish philosophy are st ...
students should be exempt from military service. This derives from the Jewish tradition that if a man wants to dedicate his life to religious study, society must allow him to do so. The request of orthodox political parties to 'prevent neglect of studying the Torah' was granted by the authorities. But in recent years this exemption practice has become the subject of debate in Israeli society, as the absolute and the relative numbers of the men who received this exemption rose sharply. In 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in the case of ''Ressler et al. v. The Knesset et al.''. that the blanket exemption granted to ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students was ''ultra vires'' the authority of the Minister of Defence, and that it violated Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty and was, therefore, unconstitutional. As for conscientious objection, in 2002, in the case of ''David Zonschein et al. v. Military Advocate General et al.'', the Supreme Court reiterated its position that selective conscientious objection was not permitted, adding that conscientious objection could only be recognized in cases of general objection to military service. Women can claim exemption from military service on grounds of conscience under arts. 39 (c) and 40 of the Defense Service Law, according to which religious reasons can be grounds for exemption.


Italy

Until 2004 conscription was mandatory to all able-bodied
Italian Italian(s) may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the people of Italy over the centuries ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic or Italian Kingdom ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Ita ...
males. Those who were born in the last months of the year typically used to serve in the Navy, unless judged unable for ship service (in this case they could be sent back to Army or Air Force). Until 1972, objectors were considered as traitors and tried by a military tribunal; after 1972, objectors could choose an alternative civilian service, which was eight months longer than standard military service (fifteen months, then twelve, as for Army and Air Force, 24 months, then eighteen, then twelve as for the Navy). Since such length was judged too punitive, an arrangement was made to make the civilian service as long as the military service. Since 2004, Italian males no longer need to object because military service has been turned into volunteer for both males and females.


Marshall Islands

In the
Republic of the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands ( mh, Ṃajeḷ), officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ),'' () is an independent island country and microstate near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the Intern ...
no person can be conscripted if, after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to do so, he has established that he is a conscientious objector to participation in war (Marshall Islands Constitution Article II Section 11).


The Netherlands

Conscription was mandatory to all able-bodied Dutch males until May 1, 1997, when it was suspended. The Law on conscientious objections military services is active since 27 September 1962. Objectors have to work a third time longer in civil service than is normal for military service. The civil service have to be provided by government services, or by institutions designated for employment of conscientious objectors designated by the Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment, who work in the public interest.


Romania

In
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
, as of 23 October 2006 conscription was suspended, therefore, the status of conscience objector does not apply. This came about due to a 2003 constitutional amendment which allowed the parliament to make military service optional. The
Romanian Parliament The Parliament of Romania ( ro, Parlamentul României) is the national bicameral legislature of Romania, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies ( ro, Camera Deputaților) and the Senate ( ro, Senat). It meets at the Palace of the Parliament in Bu ...
voted to abolish conscription in October 2005, with the vote formalizing one of many military modernization and reform programs that Romania agreed to when it joined
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two No ...
.


Russia

The
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended the Great Northern War. ...
allowed
Russian Mennonite The Russian Mennonites (german: Russlandmennoniten it. "Russia Mennonites", i.e., Mennonites of or from the Russian Empire occasionally Ukrainian Mennonites) are a group of Mennonites who are descendants of Dutch Anabaptists who settled for abo ...
s to run and maintain forestry service units in South Russia in lieu of their military obligation. The program was under church control from 1881 through 1918, reaching a peak of seven thousand conscientious objectors during World War I. An additional five thousand Mennonites formed complete hospital units and transported wounded from the battlefield to
Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐskˈva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 13.0 million ...
and
Ekaterinoslav Dnipro, previously called Dnipropetrovsk from 1926 until May 2016, is Ukraine's fourth-largest city, with about one million inhabitants. It is located in the eastern part of Ukraine, southeast of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on the Dnieper Rive ...
hospitals. After the
Russian Revolution of 1917 The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire which began during the First World War. This period saw Russia abolish its monarchy and adopt a socialist form of government ...
,
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Russian ...
issued a decree allowing alternative service for religious objectors whose sincerity was determined upon examination.
Vladimir Chertkov Vladimir Grigoryevich Chertkov (russian: Влади́мир Григо́рьевич Чертко́в; also transliterated as Chertkoff, Tchertkoff, or Tschertkow ( – November 9, 1936) was the editor of the works of Leo Tolstoy, and one of the mo ...
, a follower of
Leo Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich TolstoyTolstoy pronounced his first name as , which corresponds to the romanization ''Lyov''. () (; russian: link=no, Лев Николаевич Толстой,In Tolstoy's day, his name was written as in pre-refor ...
, chaired the ''United Council of Religious Fellowships and Groups'', which successfully freed 8000 conscientious objectors from military service during the
Russian Civil War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Russian Civil War , partof = the Russian Revolution and the aftermath of World War I , image = , caption = Clockwise from top left: {{flatlist, *Soldiers ...
. The law was not applied uniformly and hundreds of objectors were imprisoned and over 200 were executed.The United Council was forced to cease activity in December 1920, but alternative service was available under the
New Economic Policy The New Economic Policy (NEP) () was an economic policy of the Soviet Union proposed by Vladimir Lenin in 1921 as a temporary expedient. Lenin characterized the NEP in 1922 as an economic system that would include "a free market and capitalism, ...
until it was abolished in 1936. Unlike the earlier forestry and hospital service, later conscientious objectors were classified "enemies of the people" and their alternative service was performed in remote areas in a
gulag The Gulag, an acronym for , , "chief administration of the camps". The original name given to the system of camps controlled by the GPU was the Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps (, )., name=, group= was the government agency in ...
-like environment in order to break their resistance and encourage enlistment. In the present day, Russian draft legislation allows people to choose an alternative civilian service for religious or ideological reasons. Most objectors are employed in healthcare, construction, forestry and post industries, serving 18 to 21 months.


South Africa

During the 1980s, hundreds of South African white males dodged the draft, refused the call-up or objected to conscription in the
South African Defence Force The South African Defence Force (SADF) (Afrikaans: ''Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag'') comprised the armed forces of South Africa from 1957 until 1994. Shortly before the state reconstituted itself as a republic in 1961, the former Union Defence F ...
. Some simply deserted, or joined organisations such as the
End Conscription Campaign The End Conscription Campaign was an anti-apartheid organisation allied to the United Democratic Front and composed of conscientious objectors and their supporters in South Africa. It was formed in 1983 to oppose the conscription of all white ...
, an anti-war movement banned in 1988, while others fled into exile and joined the Committee on South African War Resistance. Most lived in a state of internal exile, forced to go underground within the borders of the country until a moratorium on conscription was declared in 1993. Opposition to the Angolan War, was rife in English-speaking campuses, and later the war in the townships became the focus of these groupings.


South Korea

The terminology conscientious objector technically has not existed in Korean dictionary until recently. In fact, significant majority of Korean citizens simply associate conscientious objectors with draft dodging, and are unaware of the fact that conscientious objector draftees in other westernized countries are required to serve in alternative services. Since the establishment of the
Republic of Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its ea ...
, thousands of conscientious objectors had no choice but to be imprisoned as criminals. Every year about 500 young men, mostly Jehovah's Witnesses, Imprisonment of conscientious objectors to military service] are arrested for refusing the draft. South Korea's stance has drawn criticism from The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which argues that South Korea is violating article 18 of the ICCPR, which guarantees freedom of thought and conscience. In 2006, 2010, and again in 2011 the U.N. Human Rights Committee, after reviewing petitions from South Korean conscientious objectors, declared that the government was violating Article 18 of the ICCPR, the provision that guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The government's National Action Pla
(NAP)
for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights has not shown a clear stance on the pressing human rights issues such as, among other things, the rights of conscientious objectors to military service. In September 2007, the government announced a program to give conscientious objectors an opportunity to participate in alternative civilian service. The program stipulates three years of civilian service that is not connected with the military in any way. However, that program has been postponed indefinitely after the succeeding administration took office in 2008. The government argues that introducing an alternative service would jeopardize national security and undermine social equality and cohesion. This is amid an increasing number of countries which retain compulsory service have introduced alternatives. In addition, some countries, including those with national security concerns have shown that alternative service can be successfully implemented. On January 15, 2009, the Korean Presidential Commission on Suspicious Deaths in the Military released its decision acknowledging that the government was responsible for the deaths of five young men, who were Jehovah's Witnesses and had forcibly been conscripted into the army. The deaths resulted from "the state's anti-human rights violence" and "its acts of brutality" during the 1970s that continued into the mid-1980s. This decision is significant since it is the first one recognizing the state's responsibility for deaths resulting from violence within the military.
According to the commission's decision, "the beatings and acts of brutality committed against them by military officials were attempts to compel and coerce them to act against their conscience (religion) and were unconstitutional, anti-human rights acts that infringed severely upon the freedom of conscience (religion) guaranteed in the Constitution." The records of conscientious objectors to military service are kept by a governmental investigative body as criminal files for five years. As a consequence, conscientious objectors are not allowed to enter a government office and apply for any type of national certification exam. It is also very unlikely that they will be employed by any company that inquires about criminal records. From 2000 to 2008, Korean Military Manpower Administration said that at least 4,958 men have objected to service in the military because of religious beliefs. Among those, 4,925 were Jehovah's Witnesses, 3 were Buddhists, and the other 30 refused the mandatory service because of conscientious objections other than religious reasons. Since 1950, there have been more than 16,000 Jehovah's Witnesses sentenced to a combined total of 31,256 years for refusing to perform military service. If alternative service is not provided, some 500 to 900 young men will continue to be added each year to the list of conscientious objectors criminalized in Korea. In 2015, Lee Yeda was the first conscientious objector to be allowed to live in France via asylum. In June 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled 6–3 that Article 5 of the country's Military Service Act is unconstitutional because it fails to provide an alternative civilian national service for conscientious objectors. , 19,300 South Korean conscientious objectors had gone to prison since 1953. The Defense Ministry said it would honor the ruling by introducing alternative services as soon as possible. On November 1, 2018, the Supreme Court of Korea decided that conscientious objection is a valid reason to refuse mandatory military service, and vacated and remanded the appellate court's decision finding a Jehovah's Witness guilty of the objection.


Spain

Conscientious objection was not permitted in
Francoist Spain Francoist Spain ( es, España franquista), or the Francoist dictatorship (), was the period of Spanish history between 1939 and 1975, when Francisco Franco ruled Spain after the Spanish Civil War with the title . After his death in 1975, Spai ...
. Conscientious objectors usually refused to serve on religious grounds, such as being Jehovah's Witnesses, and were placed in prison for the duration of their sentences. The
Spanish Constitution of 1978 The Spanish Constitution (Spanish, Asturleonese, and gl, Constitución Española; eu, Espainiako Konstituzioa; ca, Constitució Espanyola; oc, Constitucion espanhòla) is the democratic law that is supreme in the Kingdom of Spain. It was ...
acknowledged conscientious objectors. The Spanish parliament established a longer service (''Prestación Social Sustitutoria'') as an alternative to the Army. In spite of this, a strong movement appeared that refused both services. The
Red Cross The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and ...
was the only important organisation employing objectors. Because of this, the waiting lists for the PSS were long, especially in areas like Navarre, where pacifism,
Basque nationalism Basque nationalism ( eu, eusko abertzaletasuna ; es, nacionalismo vasco; french: nationalisme basque) is a form of nationalism that asserts that Basques, an ethnic group indigenous to the western Pyrenees, are a nation and promotes the poli ...
and a low unemployment rate discouraged young males from the army. Thousands of ''insumisos'' (non-submittants) publicly refused the PSS, and hundreds were imprisoned. In addition a number of those in the military decided to refuse further duties. A number of people not liable for military service made declarations of self-incrimination, stating that they had encouraged ''insumisión''. The government, fearing popular reaction, reduced the length of service and instead of sentencing ''insumisos'' to prison declared them unfit for public service. Fronting the decreasing birth rate and the popular opposition to an army seen as a continuating institution of one of the pillars of the dictatorship's regime, the Spanish government tried to modernise the model carried from the
Franco Franco may refer to: Name * Franco (name) * Francisco Franco (1892–1975), Spanish general and dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975 * Franco Luambo (1938–1989), Congolese musician, the "Grand Maître" Prefix * Franco, a prefix used when ref ...
era, professionalizing it and thus bringing an end to conscription by the end of 2001. The new army tried to provide an education for civilian life and participated in peace operations in Bosnia.


Taiwan

There is the possibility of avoiding military service by instead serving civilian services for the duration of the conscription.


Turkey

The issue is highly controversial in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with ...
. Turkey and
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of t ...
are the only two countries refusing to recognize conscientious objection and sustain their membership in the Council of Europe. In January 2006, the
European Court of Human Rights The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR), also known as the Strasbourg Court, is an international court of the Council of Europe which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights. The court hears applications alleging that ...
(ECHR) found Turkey had violated article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of degrading treatment) in a case dealing with the conscientious objection of
Osman Murat Ülke Osman Murat Ülke (born 1970) is a Turkish conscientious objector. He was imprisoned for two and a half years for refusal of military service, and was the subject of a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights. History of the case Ülke ...
. In 2005,
Mehmet Tarhan Mehmet Tarhan (born 1978) is a Kurdish conscientious objector who was imprisoned for refusing military service.
was sentenced to four years in a military prison as a conscientious objector (he was unexpectedly released in March 2006). Journalist
Perihan Mağden Perihan Mağden (born 24 August 1960) is a Turkish writer. She was a columnist for the newspaper ''Taraf''. She was tried and acquitted for calling for opening the possibility of conscientious objection to mandatory military service in Turkey. ...
was tried by a Turkish court for supporting Tarhan and advocating conscientious objection as a human right; but later, she was acquitted. , there were 125 objectors including 25 female objectors in Turkey. Another 256 people of Kurdish origin also had announced their conscientious objection to military service. Conscientious objector İnan Süver was named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. On 14 November 2011, the
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Just ...
announced a draft proposal to legalise conscientious objection in Turkey and that it was to take effect two weeks after approval by the President to the change. This decision to legalize by the Turkish government was because of pressure from the European Court of Human Rights. The ECHR gave the Turkish government a deadline until the end of 2011 to legalize conscientious objection. The draft was withdrawn afterwards. A commission was founded within the National Assembly of the Republic to write a new constitution in 2012. The commission is still in negotiations on various articles and conscientious objection is one of the most controversial issues.


United Kingdom

The United Kingdom recognised the right of individuals not to fight in the 18th century following major problems with attempting to force
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belief in each human's abil ...
into military service. The Militia Ballot Act of 1757 allowed Quakers to be excluded from service in the
Militia A militia () is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state, who may perform military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of r ...
. It then ceased to be a major issue, since Britain's armed forces were generally all-volunteer. However,
press gangs Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
were used to strengthen army and navy rolls on occasions from the 16th to the early 19th centuries. Pressed men did have the right of appeal, in the case of sailors, to the British Admiralty, Admiralty. The Royal Navy last took pressed men in the Napoleonic War. A more general right to refuse military service was not introduced until the First World War. Britain introduced conscription with the Military Service Act (United Kingdom), Military Service Act of January 1916, which came into full effect on 2 March 1916. The Act allowed for objectors to be absolutely exempted, to perform alternative civilian service, or to serve as a non-combatant in the army's Non-Combatant Corps, according to the extent to which they could convince a Military Service Tribunals, Military Service Tribunal of the quality of their objection. Around 16,000 men were recorded as conscientious objectors, with Quakers, traditionally pacifist, forming a large proportion: 4,500 objectors were exempted on condition of doing civilian 'work of national importance', such as farming, forestry or social service; and 7,000 were conscripted into the specially-created Non-Combatant Corps. However, 6,000 were refused any exemption and forced into main army regiments; if they then refused to obey orders, they were Court-martial#United Kingdom, court-martialled and sent to prison. Thus, the well-known pacifist and religious writer Stephen Henry Hobhouse was called up in 1916: he and many other Quaker activists took the unconditionalist stand, refusing both military and alternative service, and on enforced enlistment were court-martialled and imprisoned for disobedience. Conscientious objectors formed only a tiny proportion of Military Service Tribunals' cases over the whole conscription period, estimated at around 2%. Tribunals were notoriously harsh towards conscientious objectors, reflecting widespread public opinion that they were lazy, degenerate, ungrateful 'shirkers' seeking to benefit from the sacrifices of others. In an attempt to press the issue, in May 1916 a group of thirty-five objectors, including the Richmond Sixteen, were taken to France as conscripts and given military orders, the disobedience of which would warrant the death penalty. These men, known as "The Frenchmen", refused; the four ringleaders were formally sentenced to death by court-martial but immediately reprieved, with commutation to ten-years' penal servitude.Silence in castle to honour First World War conscientious objectors
dated 25 June 2013 at ''thenorthernecho.co.uk'', accessed 19 October 2014
Although a few objectors were accepted for non-combatant service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, acting as nursing/paramedic assistants, the majority of non-combatants served in the Non-Combatant Corps on non-lethal stores, road and railway building and general labouring in the UK and France. Conscientious objectors who were deemed not to have made any useful contribution to the state were formally Disfranchisement, disfranchised (through a clause inserted in the Representation of the People Act 1918 at the insistence of back-bench MPs) for the five years 1 September 1921 – 31 August 1926, but as it was a last-minute amendment there was no administrative machinery to enforce such disfranchisement, which was admitted to be a "dead letter". Britain's conscription legislation of 1916 did not apply to Ireland, despite it being then all part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom. However, in 1918 the Army's continuing demand for more troops led to passing a further act enabling conscription in Ireland if and when the government saw fit. In the event, the government never saw fit, although the legislation led to the Conscription Crisis of 1918. Similarly, British conscription in the Second World War did not apply to Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, many Irishmen volunteered to fight in both world wars. The various parts of the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth had their own laws: in general, all the larger countries of the Empire participated, and some were, in proportion to their population, major participants in the First World War. In the Second World War, following the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939, there were nearly 60,000 registered Conscientious Objectors. Testing by tribunals resumed, this time by special Conscientious Objection Tribunals chaired by a judge, and the effects were much less harsh. If you were not a member of the Quakers or some similar pacifist organisation, it was generally enough to say that you objected to "warfare as a means of settling international disputes", a phrase from the Kellogg–Briand Pact of 1928. The tribunals could grant full exemption, exemption conditional on alternative service, exemption only from combatant duties, or dismiss the application. Of the 61,000 who were registered, 3,000 were given complete exemption; 18,000 applications were initially dismissed, but a number of such applicants succeeded at the Appellate Tribunal, sometimes after a "qualifying" sentence of three-months' imprisonment for an offence deemed to have been committed on grounds of conscience. Of those directed to non-combatant military service almost 7,000 were allocated to the Non-Combatant Corps, re-activated in mid-1940; its companies worked in clothing and food stores, in transport, or any military project not requiring the handling of "material of an aggressive nature". In November 1940 it was decided to allow troops in the NCC to volunteer for work in bomb disposal. In total over 350 volunteered. Other non-combatants worked in the Royal Army Medical Corps. For conscientious objectors exempted conditional upon performing civil work, acceptable occupations were farm work, mining, firefighting and the Emergency medical services, ambulance service. About 5,500 objectors were imprisoned, most charged with refusal to attend a medical examination as a necessary preliminary to call-up after being refused exemption, and some charged with non-compliance with the terms of conditional exemption. A further 1,000 were court-martialled by the armed forces and sent to military detention barracks or civil prisons. Differently from the First World War, most sentences were relatively short, and there was no pattern of continually repeated sentences. Nevertheless, the social stigma attached to 'conchies' (as they were called) was considerable; regardless of the genuineness of their motives, cowardice was often imputed. Conscription in the United Kingdom was retained, with rights of conscientious objection, as National Service until the last call-up in 1960 and the last discharge in 1963. The use of all volunteer soldiers was hoped to remove the need to consider conscientious objectors. Ever since the First World War, however, there have been volunteer members of the armed forces who have developed a conscientious objection to continuing in service; a procedure was devised for them in the Second World War, and, with adaptations, it continues to this day.


United States

There are currently legal provisions in the United States for recognizing conscientious objection, both through the Selective Service System and through the United States Department of Defense, Department of Defense. The United States recognizes religious and moral objections, but not selective objections. Conscientious objectors in the United States may perform either civilian work or noncombatant service in lieu of combatant military service. Historically, conscientious objectors have been persecuted in the United States. After the Selective Service System was founded during World War I, such persecutions decreased in frequency, and recognition for conscientious objectors grew.


Other countries

As of 2005, conscientious objectors in several countries may serve as field paramedics in the army (although some do not consider this a genuine alternative, as they feel it merely helps to make war more humane instead of preventing it). Alternatively, they may serve without arms, although this, too, has its problems. In certain European countries such as Austria, Greece and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
, there is the option of performing an alternative civilian service, subject to the review of a written application or after a hearing about the state of conscience. In Greece, the alternative civilian service is twice as long as the corresponding military service; in Austria ''Zivildienst in Austria, Zivildienst'' is one third times longer, the Swiss ''Swiss Civilian Service, Zivildienst'' is one and one-half times longer than military service. In 2005, the Swiss parliament considered whether willingness to serve one and a half times longer than an army recruit was sufficient proof of sincerity, citing that the cost of judging the state of conscience of a few thousand men per year was too great. In New Zealand during the First World War between 1,500 and 2,000 objectors and defaulters were convicted, or came under state control, for their opposition to war. At least 64 of these were still at Waikeria Prison on 5 March 1919 – some of whom had gone on hunger strike in protest.


Conscientious objection in professional forces

Only two European Union countries – Germany and the Netherlands – recognize the right to conscientious objection for contract and professional military personnel. In the United States, military personnel who come to a conviction of conscientious objection during their tour of duty must appear in front of a panel of experts, which consists of psychiatrists, military chaplains and officers. In Switzerland, the panel consists entirely of civilians, and military personnel have no authority whatsoever. In Germany, the draft has been suspended since 2011.


See also

* Antimilitarism * Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors * Center on Conscience & War * Conscientious Objectors Commemorative Stone * Conscientious objection to military taxation * :Conscientious objectors * Friends' Ambulance Unit * GI Rights Network
International Conscientious Objectors' Day
* Medical Cadet Corps * Pax Christi * Peace movement * Peace Pledge Union * Richmond Sixteen * Selective conscientious objection * Tax resistance * Voluntaryism * War resister * War Resisters' International * War Resisters League


References


Further reading


Alexander, Paul
(2008

Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing/Herald Press. A history and analysis of conscientious objection in the Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination. * Selective Service,
Conscientious Objection and Alternative Service: Who Qualifies
" * Bennett, Scott H. (2005). ''Army GI, Pacifist CO: The World War II Letters of Frank and Albert Dietrich'' (Fordham Univ. Press). * Bennett, Scott H. (2003). ''Radical Pacifism: The War Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915–1963.'' (Syracuse Univ. Press). * Keim, Albert N. (1990). ''The CPS Story: An Illustrated History of Civilian Public Service'', pp. 75–79. Good Books. * Gingerich, Melvin (1949), ''Service for Peace, A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service'', Mennonite Central Committee. * Krahn, Cornelius, Gingerich, Melvin & Harms, Orlando (Eds.) (1955). ''The Mennonite Encyclopedia'', Volume I, pp. 76–78. Mennoniite Publishing House. * Matthews, Mark (2006). ''Smoke Jumping on the Western Fire Line: Conscientious Objectors during World War II'', University of Oklahoma Press. * Mock, Melanie Springer (2003). ''Writing Peace: The Unheard Voices of Great War Mennonite Objectors'', Cascadia Publishing House. * Moorehead, Caroline (1987). ''Troublesome People: Enemies of War, 1916–86'', Hamish Hamilton Ltd, * Pannabecker, Samuel Floyd (1975), ''Open Doors: A History of the General Conference Mennonite Church'', Faith and Life Press.
Quakers in Britain — Conscientious Objectors
*

* McNair, Donald (2008) ''A Pacifist at War: Military Memoirs of a Conscientious Objector in Palestine 1917–1918'' Anastasia Press, Much Hadham


Further viewing

* Rick Tejada-Flores, Judith Ehrlich (2000), "The good war and those who refused to fight it"; Paradigm Productions in association with the Independent Television Service, aired on PBS. * Catherine Ryan, Gary Weimberg (2008), "Soldiers of Conscience"; Luna Productions. Aired on the PBS nonfiction series ''POV''. * Molly Stuart, Amitai Ben-Abba (2019), "Objector"; Java Films. A documentary about Israeli conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba, premiered at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, IDFA. –


External links

* Schleif, Luke
Conscientious Objectors
in
1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War
* Patterson, David S.
Pacifism
in
1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War

Alternative Service in the Second World War: Conscientious Objectors in Canada 1939–1945


(Chicago Tribune article by Anthony DeBartolo)



* [https://web.archive.org/web/20130409222531/http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/2053881B-5606-42C4-977E-120AF07B8C73/0/FICHES_Objection_de_conscience_EN.pdfEuropeanCourt of Human Rights factsheet on case law on conscientious objection]
"Making a Choice: Conscientious Objection or Refusing to Register" (Resisters.info)

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection

Mennonite Central Committee's listing of resources for conscientious objection (US and Canada)


conscientious objection and human rights in World War I. Peace Pledge Union, 2006.
Watch His Conscience: A Short History Of The Conscientious Objector. By Michael D. Peabody

Catholic Peace Fellowship


* [https://web.archive.org/web/20080515162443/http://www.wri-irg.org/books/co-guide-un.htm A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights System]
You have no enemies. A Call for Conscientious Objection. By Dieter Duhm

Hacksaw Ridge
A film about conscientious objector, Desmond T.Doss who received 'Medal of Honor' in WW2.
Objector
– a 2019 documentary about Israeli conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba. {{Authority control Conscientious objection, Military sociology