War Resisters' International launches Conscientious Objection Information System (COBIS)

COBIS: The CO/Activist databaseCOBIS: The CO/Activist database

Together with its new website, War Resisters' International launched its new Conscientious Objection Information System (COBIS) on 26 November 2008. The COBIS system combines several elements of War Resisters' International's work on conscientious objection:

The system also includes a permanent Prisoners for Peace list, which will strengthen our support for imprisoned conscientious objectors and peace activists.

The core of COBIS is the Activist/Conscientious objectors' database, which features conscientious objectors from many countries, and includes a range of data:

The public data consists of:

  • the name of the activist or conscientious objector as the title
  • the country of origin or residence
  • the status of the activist or conscientious objector
  • a link to the private data, which is access restricted. This link will only appear if you have the right to view the private data.
  • links to CO declarations, if they exist. There can be more than one CO declarations for any one conscientious objector
  • links to periods of detentions, if they exist
  • links to CO alerts that have been issued by War Resisters' International in relation to the CO
  • links to support emails in relation to this CO
  • links to articles on the WRI website related to this conscientious objector

All links allow easy access to the relevant data. The overview page also gives a quick overview about a conscientious objector.

In addition, it is possible to upload “private data” over a secure connection, and only accessible to persons with the appropriate access rights.

The private data basically consists of:

  • contact and other personal data of the activist/conscientious objector;
  • relevant documents that you think should not be public, or only exist as scanned documents (public documents can be added as story and can then be related to the activist/conscientious objector);
  • links to lawyer(s) representing the activist/conscientious objector.

This will allow support groups in other parts of the world easy access to relevant documents.

As before, the website allows support emails in the case of imprisonment of conscientious objectors, linked to co-alerts. Both, the co-alerts and the support emails can only be created by the WRI office, while the rest of the activist/conscientious objector database is open for others too. A manual for the CO database is also available on the WRI website.

The second aspect of COBIS are the country reports on recruitment and conscientious objection. While many of the European country reports have been updated in October 2008, all earlier country reports have now been ported to the new website, and are still available.

The big change here is that underneath each country report can be found an automatically generated listing of co-alerts in relation to the country in question, and articles in relation to conscientious objection (mostly published in the co-update e-newsletter). This provides a quick overview of recent developments in relation to the country in question.

The website also includes a manual on the CO database, which will help groups to make use of this facility.