Right to Refuse to Kill

War Resisters' International's programme The Right to Refuse to Kill combines a wide range of activities to support conscientious objectors individually, as well as organised groups and movements for conscientious objection.

Our main publications are CO-Alerts (advocacy alerts sent out whenever a conscientious objector is prosecuted) and CO-Updates (a bimonthly look at developments in conscientious objection around the world).

We maintain the CO Guide - A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System, which can help COs to challenge their own governments, and protect themselves from human rights abuses.

Information about how nation states treat conscientious objectors can be found in our World Survey of Conscientious Objection and recruitment.

More info on the programme is available here.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the libertarian antimilitarist group Ni Casco Ni Uniforme (Neither Helmet nor Uniform - NCNU). NCNU emerged as the NCNU Conscientious Objection Group, originating in Santiago de Chile in the context of democratic transition. Compulsory military service existed then and now in Chile. There was (and is still not) any law protecting conscientious objection to counterbalance this.

On 25 June 2014 the National Assembly announced in official gazette No. 40.440 that the Law on Registration and Enlistment for Comprehensive Defence of the Nation (in Spanish, Ley de Registro y Alistamiento para la Defensa Integral de la Nación or LRADIN) came into effect on the same date. This law repealed the one that partially reformed the law of conscription and military enlistment, which was issued by the national executive and published in official gazette No. 39.553 dated 16 November 2010, and in which military registration was renormalized.

Militarisation in Eritrea is extreme, with indefinite conscription in often unbearable conditions. Conscientious objectors are imprisoned. Many people flee the country if they can, but if they arrive in Europe, they are not always given protection, and this month the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Swiss government is not in breach of the European Convention by expelling an Eritrean asylum seeker.

On 25th May, War Resisters' International organised a webinar on conscientious objection, peace education and countering youth militarisation in South Korea. In the webinar, we had presentations from two Seoul-based peace campaigners active in the field for many years: Hanui Choi, Coordinator and Peace Education Facilitator at PEACE MOMO, and Seungho Park, a conscientious objector and an activist from World without War.

International Conscientious Objection Day was marked on Monday 15th May by antimilitarists around the world, celebrating those who have - and those who continue - to resist war, especially by refusing to be part of military structures. It’s a day when we celebrate refusal, disobedience, and everything that says no to militarism. But also a day when we say yes to nonviolence, solidarity, and reclaiming our bodies and communities for coexistence!

International Conscientious Objection Day was marked on Monday by antimilitarists around the world, celebrating those who have - and those who continue - to resist war, especially by refusing to be part of military structures.

It’s a day when we celebrate refusal, disobedience, and everything that says no to militarism. But also a day when we say yes to nonviolence, solidarity, and reclaiming our bodies and communities for coexistence!

Conscientious objection means refusing to be co-opted into militarism. It means naming armies and organised violent groups for what they really are, and often being at risk of imprisonment and social stigma for doing so.

It also means joining in an internationalist movement, which is organising nonviolently towards societies free from war and oppression. This work is made more possible by solidarity across borders - and that's where you come in!

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