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.

Conscription in Greece has wide-reaching implications for Greek society. These include financial conseas well as important effects on the socialisation of men and in the propagation of gender, sexual, racial and international stereotypes. Conscientious objection has an important role in challenging many of these structures. Whilst this subject is large, here we will attempt to give an overview of some of them.

Compulsory military service was introduced in Greece by the Constitution of 1911. A year later Greece was engaged in consecutive wars (two Balkan wars, the First World War and the Campaign in Asia Minor), which lasted a decade. During the final two years of this decade there was a vast movement of desertions from the Greek Army, due essentially to the long period of mobilization (there were conscripts who were called up in 1911 and not released until 1923). There aren't known cases of desertion for ideological reasons at that time.

When the UN Human Rights Committee announced their plans to examine human rights abuses in Greece, WRI saw an opportunity to get CO issues on the international agenda and significantly raise the profile of the Greek struggle against militarism. WRI produced a comprehensive report on conscientious objection to military service in Greece detailing numerous human rights shortfalls. The report describes the legal situation in Greece vis-à-vis conscription and CO before outlining the problems and discriminatory practices that the current law causes.

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2005 focuses on the situation of conscientious objectors in Greece. War Resisters' International and the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors are organising an international seminar and nonviolence training, leading to an international nonviolent action on conscientious objection in Thessaloniki on 15 May.

The activities will start on 9 May, and will last until 15 May.

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2005 focuses on the situation of conscientious objectors in Greece. War Resisters' International and the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors are organising an international seminar and nonviolence training, leading to an international nonviolent action on conscientious objection in Thessaloniki on 15 May.

The activities will start on 9 May, and will last until 15 May.

Report for the Human Rights Committee in relation to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

February 2005

Submitted by: War Resisters' International
5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX, Britain
Tel +44-20-7278 4040; Fax +44-20-7278 0444
Email infowri-irg.org; web http://wri-irg.org

1. Main Concerns2. Introduction3. Legal Situation4.
15 May 2005: International Conscientious Objectors' Day

Focus: conscientious objection in Greece. WRI and the Greek Association of COs are organising an international seminar, nonviolence training, and action in Thessaloniki from 9-15 May 2005. Contact WRI for more information.

15 May 2005: International Conscientious Objectors Day

Focus: conscientious objection in Greece. WRI and the Greek Association of COs are organising an international seminar, nonviolence training, and action in Thessaloniki from 9-15 May 2005. Contact WRI for more information.

WRI Seminar 2005 in South Korea

In cooperation with several partner organisations from South Korea, War Resisters' International is preparing for its 2005 seminar and Council meeting, which will take place in or close to Seoul in June 2005.

1 December - Prisoners for Peace Day This year's focus: conscientious objection in Finland

The special edition of WRI's The Broken Rifle, incorporating the annual Prisoners for Peace Honour Roll, is available online in English, German, French, and Spanish. Please contact the WRI Office if you require print copies, or feel free to download the material from our website, and make your own copies.

From Peace News Jun-Aug 2004




For the third time, War Resisters' International organised an international training and action for International Conscientious Objectors' Day. After the Balkans and Israel, the focus of this years' activities was Chile and Latin America - with the central activities taking place in Santiago de Chile. Andreas Speck, WRI's CO Campaigning Worker reports from Santiago.
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