International Conscientious Objection Day

Every year, 15th May marks International Conscientious Objection Day (CO day) - a day to celebrate those who have, and those who continue, to resist war, especially by refusing to be part of military structures.

If you would like to take part in CO day, contact us.

Counter-recruitment and conscientious objection for professional soldiers as major themes

Just before 15 May, the International Day on Conscientious Objection, War Resisters' International has published material on the major theme for this year: the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers, and the work done to counter military recruitment.

War Resisters' International is presently working on a survey of European Union countries regarding the question of the right to conscientious objection for professiona

Editorial

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15 May is International Day on Conscientious Objection. This issue of The Broken Rifle introduces War Resisters’ International’s theme for CO day 2008: conscientious objection for professional soldiers and countering military recruitment. Both issues are closely related: with the trend to abolishing (or suspending) conscription, at least Western militaries increasingly rely on professional, “voluntary” soldiers.

15 May – International Day on Conscientious Objection

In recent years many European countries abolished conscription, or suspended conscription in times of peace. Presently, out of the 27 European Union member states only 10 maintain conscription, and it is expected that of those ten some more will abolish conscription in the near future – Poland is expected to abolish conscription in 2010–2012, and Sweden is just now in the process of abolishing conscription.

Since the 1980s, 15 May is celebrated as International Day on Conscientious Objection. Conscientious objection movements all over the world use 15 May to promote the right to conscientious objection, and conscientious objection as an antimilitarist action and perspective.

This year, War Resisters’ International wants to highlight the new challenges for conscientious objection as a result of a changing military landscape: the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers, and the need to counter military propaganda and military recruitment wherever they take place.

With a seemingly endless war on terrorism gnawing away at the possibility for a lasting peace many activists in the United Sates are finding that they are drawn to a form of activism that deals with the relationship that young people have to militarism. The work is called, counter military recruitment or counter-recruitment for short, and it primary focus is to demilitarise a nation by attempting to first demilitarise the minds of its youth.

Recruitment elsewhere

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How do armies outside Europe/North America recruit?

Although Europe and the United States might have their armies all over the world – and if not their armies, they surely use economical “cooperation” and development “aid” backed by their military force to maintain their political and economical influence – they are not the only countries with Armed Forces. In fact, most states in the world maintain Armed Forces. How then do other major military players recruit for their Armed Forces?

15/05/08: International Conscientious Objection Day

15 May is International Conscientious Objection Day. This year the War Resisters' International's focus for the day will be on counter-recruitment and the right to consientious objection for professional soldiers.

Activities are being organised by several WRI affiliates and other organisations, not necessarily with the same thematical focus.

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

War Resisters' International visited the Colombian cities of Medellin, Bogota, and Barrancabermeja in May 2007, to take part in the international activities for International Conscientious Objectors' Day, and to discuss the question of conscientious objection with a range of Colombian authorities and NGOs.

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