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.

Haiti has started recruiting for its newly reestablished army. The Defense Minister Herve Denis said they plan to recruit 500 soldiers as part of the first recruitment drive, but they might need to reduce this number due to budgetary problems. He said the duties of the soldiers will be rebuilding after natural disasters and monitoring borders for smuggled contraband.

On the other hand, critics questioned the need for such a force in the country, which has long been suffering from the impacts of poverty, as well as having a history of military coups.

Cuba

Placheolder image
29/04/1998 1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription is enshrined in art. 64 of the Constitution, according to which: "Defence of the socialist motherland is every Cuban's greatest honour and highest duty." [3]

The legal basis for conscription is the 1973 Law on General Military Service (Servicio Militar Activo y el de Reserva). [4]

Military service is performed in the Cuban armed forces or the National Revolutionary Police Force, which are run by the Ministry of the Interior.

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 This law repealed the one that partially reformed the law of conscription and military enlistment, which was issued by the national executive and published in official gazette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.

The head of the compulsory military record is the President of the Republic, who shall exercise this function through the Ministry of the People’s Power for Defence and other public administration bodies.

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.

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.

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