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Every year on 15th May, we celebrate International Conscientious Objection Day. On this day, we remember and celebrate conscientious objectors' resistance for peace, their refusal to bears arms and take part in war - throughout history and today. This year, we're focusing on Colombia and standing in solidarity with Colombian conscientious objectors. Read more here how you can support Colombian conscientious objectors.

In April 2018, a group of 25 children participated in a bootcamp in Koprivnicko-krizevacka County, a training event organised by a local airsoft team (Airsoft is a team sport where opponents shoot each other with pellets from replica weapons). The training included a mix of orientation in nature, first aid skills and something called "homeland education". Children were photographed giving salutes and holding guns. The whole event was supported by representatives of the local government who praised the educational value of such activities.

South Korea’s Ministry of Defense proposed a system for alternative service to the military on Dec. 28, following a historic decision by the Constitutional Court in June, which ruled that the existing law does not guarantee freedom of conscience. The court’s decision —which was a major victory for the movement to recognize conscientious objection in South Korea — has sparked a fierce debate over the issue. There have been tangible achievements, such as the Supreme Court finding a conscientious objector to be innocent for the first time ever on Nov. 1. However, the struggle over how the alternative service system will work is just beginning.

AmTec Less Lethal Systems (ALS) specialises in a wide range of “less lethal” weapons and equipment designed for use by police, law enforcement, security, prison and military personnel.

Arms company Heckler & Koch have been found guilty in a German court of illegally supplying arms to Mexico.

The British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged Germany to end it’s ban of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia. Hunt has written to his counterpart Heiko Maas, and described how the ban is impacting British companies ability to fulfil their own contracts with Saudi Arabia on a visit to Berlin to discuss Brexit.

WRI's Empowering Nonviolence website is full of stories and strategies for nonviolent resistance! We've recently uploaded a number of new stories exploring programmes and project focused on building a “new world”.

Members of the European Parliament joined members of Agir Pour la Paix, one of WRI's Belgian affiliates, in occupying the runway of the Kleine-Brogel military base, in protest of the ongoing siting of US nuclear missiles there, one month ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels.

A number of peace and nonviolence organisations and activists from Venezuela have issued a statement about the situation in the country. The statement addressing the international community, peace and human rights activists, points out the need for free and credible elections for a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. Explaining the background, the activists say the solution for the crisis will  “depend on every single one of us and our actions to place enough pressure so that the solution we face is non-violent, and inclusive, with the democracy and justice which the Venezuelan people and humanity itself deserves. We want it to be our voices and aspirations, not arms, which finally decide the future and destiny of our country. But for that, we need your help.”

In December, War Resisters' International has submitted a report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The submission was in response to the OHCHR's request for information on different approaches and challenges with regard to application procedures for conscientious objection to military service.