This edition of CO-Update is a reminder of the possibility of regression and the incremental and sometimes patchy nature of 'progress'.
Recent months have seen a sharp increase in the persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece, whilst in Israel, CO Natan Blanc is in prison for the ninth time, caught in a cycle of release, call up and reimprisonment.
The Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a guide to applicable international standards and jurisprudence relating to conscientious objection to military service, which we hope will prove useful to states such as Armenia, who continue to treat religious and non-religious COs differently, although making some progress in terms of recognising that a substitute service under the control of the military would still not be acceptable to those who decry violence.
The next edition of The Broken Rifle, WRI's quarterly magazine, will be on the topic of 'Conscientious Objection: today and tomorrow'. We'll be looking at developments in conscientious objection – particularly in a time when many countries have suspended conscription – as well as WRI's new initiative Countering the Militarisation of Youth.
You can sign up to receive it to your inbox here.
P.S. WRI's recent fundraising appeal focused on our countering the militarisation of youth work, and described different work WRI is doing in this area. Please consider supporting this fundraising appeal, if you are able to.