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.

Refusing militarism is not possible without refusing hegemonic masculinity


Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International



“Questioning
the militarist value system and its practices which are identified
with military service, one is also obliged to question the hegemonic
understanding of masculinity. In Turkey, military service is a
laboratory in which masculinity is reproduced. The patriarchal system
is solidified through military service.

This manual focuses on building the GI resistance movement, and doing so requires an understanding of how veterans are directly impacted by war and militarism. Civilian organizers need this awareness in order to to build relationships and organize effectively in the military community. Below we explore veterans’ experiences with the military.

Military Culture and Structure

After the military coup in Honduras in June 2009, resistance is growing in the country to what is seen as a reintroduction of conscription, which had been abolished by a constitutional amendment in 1994. Already in July 2009, human rights activists accused the Honduran military to forcefully recruit for the Armed Forces.

On 16 April 2009, Human Rights Watch produced a 95-page report - Service for Life - which includes a detailed description of human rights abuses involved in the practice of conscription in Eritrea, not only against the conscripts themselves but also their families, and not only during the period of military service but in forced labour afterwards.

The report in full is available here.

Press release on the hand grenade attack against the Migrants’ House

Athens, 25 February 2009

Yesterday night, Tuesday 24 February, at around 10 pm, and while there was in full progress an open meeting against the new armaments plan, hosted by the Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors, an unknown person threw a hand grenade at the building that the meeting was taking place - the Migrants’ House at 13A Tsamadou Street in Exarchia - and then run away.

Hearing in the European Parliament on conscientious objection in the European Union

Regarding todays public hearing in the Subcommittee Security and Defence (SEDE) of the European Parliament on conscientious objection, MEP Tobias Pflüger (DIE LINKE), member of the Committee for Foreign Relations(AFET) and coordinator of the Left Faction (GUE/NGL) in the Subcommittee Security and Defence (SEDE) declares:

In this presentation I will give an overview of the right to conscientious objection, its
legal practices and frameworks in the 27 European Union member states. Before I do so, I want to step back a bit and have a brief look at the existing international standards about the right to
conscientious objection, as these standards allow us to put the practices in the EU member states into a perspective.

Statement by Korea Solidarity for Conscientious Objection

On December 24, the Ministry of National Defense announced the result of the survey that The Military Manpower Administration (MMA) had commissioned with a policy think tank of Daejeon University. The announcement was mainly focused on the negative outcomes of the public consensus. Last June, the MMA announced that the final decision will be based on public agreements. Therefore, this survey could completely annul the alternative service for conscientious objectors announced on September, 2007.

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