Conscientious objection



Placheolder image


Portugal does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Military recruitment

With Law 174/1999 (Law on Military Service, Lei do Serviço Militar)1
Portugal abolished conscription and started a transformation process into fully professional armed forces. The last conscripts were called up for military service in 2004.

The ongoing struggle for ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews in Israel to maintain their status as draft-exempt continues. In the latest development in a story that has had many twists and turns, a 12th September decision by the Israeli Supreme Court ruled the status quo - an arrangement  allowing for mass exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews - was unconstitutional, and discriminatory. It gave the government a year to resolve the matter.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recently issued a report on the human rights situation in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The report covers the human rights developments in the region from 22 February 2014 to 12 September 2017. As well as various other issues, it also covers rights violations in relation to ongoing military conscription by the Russian armed forces.


Placheolder image
08/01/1998 1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription is enshrined in art. 53 of the Constitution which states that military service is compulsory and is to be performed, regardless of an individual's social status, as and when the law requires. [2]

Compulsory military service is regulated by the 1978 Law on Conscription and Military Enlistment (Ley de Conscripcion y Alistamiento Militar).

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!

Recent updates from South Korea increase our hopes for the recognition of the right to conscientious objection in the country. Since our latest update in May, three more conscientious objectors, who had been indicted for their refusal to serve in the military, have been found not guilty by their district court. Meanwhile, the Government and the President Moon Jae-in, who promised to introduce an alternative civilian service during his election campaign, keep being pressurised by human rights groups for the recognition of the right.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia on the grounds that they are an extremist organisation. The liquidation ruling, made on 20th April 2017 and upheld on 17th July 2017, means that the Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre and all 395 regional organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are subject to liquidation, and their property can now be seized by the state. The ruling affects tens of thousands, including many conscientious objectors who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.


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.

Subscribe to Conscientious objection