More conscientious objectors in Chile resist new military recruitment law

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On 10 October 2006 12 total objectors presented themselves to the public in the Chilean city of Linares. These twelve objectors were the first of a wave of presentation of total objectors in opposition to the new law on military service, which came into force at the beginning of this year. According to Article 29 of the new law on military service, recruitment is mainly voluntarily. However, if the recruitment quota cannot be filled by volunteers alone, then the remainder will be filled with conscripts. According to the programme of the Bachelet government, "obligatory military service is obsolete", and the Chilean military should be turned into an all-volunteer military within 5-10 years. During the transitional period, the government wants to introduce economical incentives to make military service more attractive (and attract more volunteers), and also wants to introduce regulations for conscientious objection including a substitute service. However, so far it seems with little success, as not many registered voluntarily.

According to the news service of the Chilean parliament, the defence commission started the discussion about how to implement the right to conscientious objection and a substitute service in October.

Sources: Emails Ni Casco Ni Uniforme, email ROC-Chile, Camara.cl, 20 October 2006
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