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A conscientious objector (CO) is an individual who, on religious, moral or ethical grounds, refuses to participate as a combatant in war or, in some cases, to take any role that would support a combatant organization armed forces. In the first case, conscientious objectors may be willing to accept non-combatant roles during conscription or military service. In the second case, the CO objects to any role within armed forces and results in complete rejection of conscription or military service and, in some countries, assignment to an alternative civilian service as a substitute for conscription or military service. Some conscientious objectors may consider themselves pacifist, non-resistant, or antimilitarist.

The international definition of conscientious objection officially broadened in 1998, when the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights document called “Conscientious objection to military service, United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/77” officially recognized that “persons [already] performing military service may develop conscientious objections.”

On June 4, 1967, an address was given at Western Maryland College, USAmarker by John Courtney Murray, S. J. concerning a more specific type of conscientious objection: “the issue of selective conscientious objection, conscientious objection to particular wars, or as it is sometimes called, discretionary armed service.”


Historically, many conscientious objectors have been executed, imprisoned, or otherwise penalized when their beliefs led to actions conflicting with their society's legal system or government. The legal definition and status of conscientious objection has varied over the years and from nation to nation. Religious beliefs were a starting point in many nations for legally granting conscientious objector status. Acceptable grounds for granting conscientious objector status have broadened in many countries.

Conscientious objection and doing civilian service (i.e. civilian tasks as an alternative to compulsory military service) has, in many countries, evolved into a veritable institution. Today in some countries such as Germanymarker and Austriamarker, those who are fulfilling their civilian service in the nursing or social domain bear a huge part of the workload in these areas.

United Nations

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In 1948, the issue of the right to “conscience” was dealt with by the United Nations General Assembly in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” The proclamation was ratified during the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with 8 abstentions.
In 1974, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Sean MacBride said, in his Nobel Lecture, "To the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights one more might, with relevance, be added. It is 'The Right to Refuse to Kill.'"

In 1976, the United Nations treaty the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entered into force. It was based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was originally created in 1966. Nations that have signed this treaty are bound by it. Its Article 18 begins: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. …”

However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights left the issue of conscientious objection inexplicit, as we see in this quote from War Resisters International: “Article 18 of the Covenant does put some limits on the right [to freedom of thought, conscience and religion], stating that [its] manifestations must not infringe on public safety, order, health or morals. Some states argue that such limitations [on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion] would [derivatively] permit them to make conscientious objection during time of war a threat to public safety, or mass conscientious objection a disruption to public order,...[Some states] even [argue] that it is a 'moral' duty to serve the state in its military.”

On July 30, 1993, explicit clarification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 18 was made in the United Nations Human Rights Committee general comment 22, Para. 11: “The Covenant does not explicitly refer to a right to conscientious objection, but the Committee believes that such a right can be derived from article 18, inasmuch as the obligation to use lethal force may seriously conflict with the freedom of conscience and the right to manifest one's religion or belief.”

In 1997, an announcement of Amnesty International's forthcoming campaign and briefing for the UN Commission on Human Rights included this quote: “The right to conscientious objection to military service is not a marginal concern outside the mainstream of international human rights protection and promotion.”

In 2005, The Peace Tax Seven analyzed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with this statement: “If the right to life is the first of all human rights, being the one on which all other rights depend, the right to refuse to kill must be the second.”

Nuremberg Principle IV

The Nuremberg Principles were a set of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. The document was created by the International Law Commission of the United Nations to recognize the legal principles underlying the Nuremberg Trialsmarker of Nazi party members following World War II.

Nuremberg Principle IV states: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status

The Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status (the Handbook) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) states:

“171. Not every conviction, genuine though it may be, will constitute a sufficient reason for claiming refugee status after desertion or draft-evasion. It is not enough for a person to be in disagreement with his government regarding the political justification for a particular military action. Where, however, the type of military action, with which an individual does not wish to be associated, is condemned by the international community as contrary to basic rules of human conduct, punishment for desertion or draft-evasion could, in the light of all other requirements of the definition, in itself be regarded as persecution.”

Religious motives

The reasons for refusing to perform military service are varied. Many conscientious objectors cite religious reasons. Unitarian Universalists object to war in their sixth principle "The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all". Members of the Historic Peace Churches object to war from the conviction that Christian life is incompatible with military action, because Jesus enjoins his followers to love their enemies and to refuse violence. Jehovah's Witnesses, while not pacifist in the strict sense, refuse to participate in the armed services on the grounds that they believe they should be neutral in worldly conflicts and often cite the latter portion of which states, "…neither shall they learn war anymore." Other objections can stem from a deep sense of responsibility toward humanity as a whole, or from simple denial that any government possesses the moral authority to command warlike behavior from its citizens.

In the early Christian Church followers of the Christ refused to take up arms.

After the Roman Empire officially embraced Christianity, the Just War theory was developed in order to reconcile warfare with Christian belief. After Theodosius I made Christianity an official religion of the Empire, this position slowly developed into the official position of the Western Church. In the 11th century, there was a further shift of opinion in the Latin-Christian tradition with the crusades, strengthening the idea and acceptability of Holy War. Objectors became a minority. Some theologians see the loss of a pacifist position as a great failing of the Church; see Constantinian shift and Christian pacifism.

Because of their conscientious objection to participation in military service, whether armed or unarmed, Jehovah's Witnesses have often faced imprisonment or other penalties. In Greecemarker, for example, before the introduction of alternative civilian service in 1997, hundreds of Witnesses were imprisoned, some for three years or even more for their refusal. In Armeniamarker, young Jehovah's Witnesses have been imprisoned (and remain in prison) because of their conscientious objection to military service. The government of South Korea also imprisons hundreds for refusing the draft. In Switzerlandmarker, virtually every Jehovah's Witness is exempted from military service. The Finnishmarker government exempts Jehovah's Witnesses from the draft completely.

The following is said of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) by a neutral, non-SDA organization: "Many Seventh-day Adventists refuse to enter the army as combatants, but participate as medics, ambulance drivers, etc. During World War II in Germany, many SDA conscientious objectors were sent to concentration camps or mental institutions; some were executed. Some Seventh-day Adventists volunteered for the US Army's Operation Whitecoat. The Church preferred to call them "conscientious participants", because they were willing to risk their lives as test subjects in potentially life-threatening research. Over 2,200 Seventh-day Adventists volunteered in experiments involving various infectious agents during the 1950s through the 1970s in Fort Detrick, MD. " A schism arose during and after World War I between Seventh-day Adventists in Germany who agreed to serve in the military if conscripted and those who rejected all participation in warfare — the latter group eventually forming a separate church (the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement).

For believers in Indian religions, the opposition to warfare may be based on either the general idea of ahimsa, non-violence, or on an explicit prohibition of violence by their religion, e.g., for a Buddhist, one of the five precepts is " ," or "I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures," which is in obvious opposition to the practice of warfare. The 14th Dalai Lama has stated that war "should be relegated to the dustbin of history." On the other hand, many Buddhist sects, especially in Japan, have been thoroughly militarized, warrior monks (yamabushi or sóhei) participating in the civil wars. Hindu beliefs do not go against the concept of war, as seen in the Gita. Both Sikhs and Hindus believe war should be a last resort and should be fought to sustain life and morality in society.

Some practitioners of pagan religions, particularly Wicca, may object on the grounds of the Wiccan rede, which states "An it harm none, do what ye will" (or variations). The threefold law may also be grounds for objection.

A notable example of a conscientious objector was the Austrian devout Roman Catholic Christian Franz Jägerstätter, who was executed on August 9, 1943 for openly refusing to serve in the Nazi Wehrmacht, consciously accepting the penalty of death. He was declared Blessed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 for dying for his beliefs, and is well respected in and out of his homeland by religious and non-religious persons alike as a symbol of self-sacrificing resistance against a criminal regime.

Selective conscientious objection

On June 4, 1967, an address was given at Western Maryland College, USAmarker by John Courtney Murray, S. J. concerning a more specific type of conscientious objection: “the issue of selective conscientious objection, conscientious objection to particular wars, or as it is sometimes called, discretionary armed service.”

On March 8, 1971, the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker ruled on the case of Gillette v. United States: The ruling stated, "The exemption for those who oppose "participation in war in any form" applies to those who oppose participating in all war and not to those who object to participation in a particular war only."

On October 2, 2002, the day President George W. Bush signed into law Congress' joint resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq, a small-scale protest was held in Chicago, attended by a crowd of roughly 1,000 who listened to speeches by Jesse Jackson and then State Senator Barack Obama. Obama's statement, "I don't oppose all wars....What I am opposed to is a dumb war," was barely noted at the time, but became notable during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. Thus, the concept of the selectivity of objection, in a certain form, gained a significant amount of exposure. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the exposure which Obama gave that concept is, however, entirely separate from the issue of whether or not Obama acted in accordance with that concept. For example, during the first few months Obama was Commander in Chief of the United States Military, it charged and convicted U.S. soldier Clifford Cornell of desertion, and sentenced him to one year in prison for refusing to participate in the Iraq War. The charge occurred February 23, 2009, in Obama's second month, and the conviction occurred April 24, 2009.

On May 25, 2005, journalist Jack Random wrote the following: "The case of Sergeant Kevin Benderman (Iraq War Resister) raises the burning issue of selective conscientious objection: While it is universally accepted that an individual cannot be compelled against conscience to war in general, does the same hold for an individual who objects, in the depths of the soul, to a particular war?"

Alternatives for objectors

Some conscientious objectors are unwilling to serve the military in any capacity, while others accept noncombatant roles. Alternatives to military or civilian service include serving an imprisonment or other punishment for refusing conscription, falsely claiming unfitness for duty by feigning an allergy or a heart condition, delaying conscription until the maximum drafting age, or seeking refuge in a country which does not extradite those wanted for military conscription. Avoiding military service is sometimes labeled draft dodging, particularly if the goal is accomplished through dishonesty or evasive maneuvers. However, many people who support conscription will distinguish between "bona fide" conscientious objection and draft dodging, which they view as evasion of military service without a valid excuse.

Conscientious objection exists since the incorporation of forced military service but was not officially recognized until the twentieth century, when it was gradually recognized as a fundamental human right as a part of the freedom of conscience.

Despite the fact that international institutions like the United Nations (UN) or the Council of Europe (CoE) regard and promote conscientious objection as a human right, , it still does not have a legal basis in most countries. Among the roughly one-hundred countries that have conscription, only thirty countries have some legal provisions, 25 of them in Europe. In Europe, most countries with conscription more or less fulfill international guidelines on conscientious objection legislation (except for Greecemarker, Cyprusmarker, Turkeymarker, Finlandmarker and Russiamarker) today. In many countries outside Europe, especially in armed conflict areas (Israelmarker, Democratic Republic of the Congomarker), conscientious objection is punished severely.

While conscientious objectors - otherwise CO's - used to be seen as deserters, traitors, cowards, slackers or simply un-patriotic, their image has changed drastically in the Western world in past decades. Especially in Europe, where objectors usually serve an alternative civilian service, they are regarded as making an equally important contribution to society as conscripts. Parallel to that, the number of objectors has risen significantly, too: e.g., in Germanymarker, where conscientious objection is a constitutional right, from less than one percent of all eligible men to more than fifty percent in 2003.

United States

During the American Revolutionary War exemptions varied by state. Pennsylvania required conscientious objectors, who would not join companies of voluntary soldiers called Associations, to pay a fine roughly equal to the time they would have spent in military drill. Quakers who refused this extra tax had their property confiscated.

The first conscription in the United States came with the Civil War. Although conscientious objection was not part of the draft law, individuals could provide a substitute or pay $300 to hire one. By 1864 the draft act allowed the $300 to be paid for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. Conscientious objectors in Confederate States initially had few options. Responses included moving to northern states, hiding in the mountains, joining the army but refusing to use a weapon or imprisonment. Between late 1862 and 1864 a payment of $500 into the public treasury exempted conscientious objectors from Confederate military duty.

In the United States during World War I, conscientious objectors were permitted to serve in noncombatant military roles. About 2000 absolute conscientious objectors refused to cooperate in any way with the military. These men were imprisoned in military facilities such as Fort Lewis (Washington), Alcatraz Island (California) and Fort Leavenworth (Kansas). The government failed to take into account that some conscientious objectors viewed any cooperation with the military as contributing to the war effort. Their refusal to put on a uniform or cooperate in any way caused difficulties for both the government and the COs. The mistreatment received by these absolute COs included short rations, solitary confinement and physical abuse severe enough as to cause the deaths of two Hutterite draftees.

Eventually, because of the shortage of farm labor, the conscientious objectors were granted furloughs either for farm service or relief work in France under the American Friends Service Committee. A limited number performed alternative service as fire fighters in the Cascade Range in the vicinity of Camp Lewis, Washington and in a Virginia psychiatric hospital.

During World War II, all registrants were sent a questionnaire covering basic facts about their identification, physical condition, history and also provided a checkoff to indicate opposition to military service because of religious training or belief. Men marking the latter option received a DSS 47 form with ten questions:

  1. Describe the nature of your belief which is the basis of your claim.
  2. Explain how, when, and from whom or from what source you received the training and acquired the belief which is the basis of your claim.
  3. Give the name and present address of the individual upon whom you rely most for religious guidance.
  4. Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe in the use of force?
  5. Describe the actions and behavior in your life which in your opinion most conspicuously demonstrate the consistency and depth of your religious convictions.
  6. Have you ever given public expression, written or oral, to the views herein expressed as the basis for your claim made above? If so, specify when and where.
  7. Have you ever been a member of any military organization or establishment? If so, state the name and address of same and give reasons why you became a member.
  8. Are you a member of a religious sect or organization?
  9. Describe carefully the creed or official statements of said religious sect or organization as it relates to participation in war.
  10. Describe your relationships with and activities in all organizations with which you are or have been affiliated other than religious or military.

Civilian Public Service firefighting crew at Snowline Camp near Camino, California, 1945.
Civilian Public Service (CPS) provided conscientious objectors in the United States an alternative to military service during World War II. From 1941 to 1947 nearly 12,000 draftees, unwilling to do any type of military service, performed work of national importance in 152 CPS camps throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The work was initially done in areas isolated from the general population both because of the government's concern that pacifist philosophy would spread and conscientious objectors would not be tolerated in neighboring communities. A constant problem through the duration of the program, especially in camps located in national forests for fire control, was make-work projects designed to occupy the men's time in the off-season and between fires. For instance, men at a camp on the Blue Ridge Parkwaymarker in Virginia shoveled snow from an unused roadway while a snowplow was parked nearby. The uselessness of this type of work led to low morale and loss of experienced men as they requested transfers to other camps hoping for more meaningful work. Draftees from the historic peace churches and other faiths worked in areas such as soil conservation, forestry, fire fighting, agriculture, social services, and mental health.

The CPS men served without wages and minimal support from the federal government. The cost of maintaining the CPS camps and providing for the needs of the men was the responsibility of their congregations and families. CPS men served longer than regular draftees, not being released until well past the end of the war. Initially skeptical of the program, government agencies learned to appreciate the men's service and requested more workers from the program. CPS made significant contributions to forest fire prevention, erosion and flood control, medical science and especially in revolutionizing of the state-run mental health institutions which had previously been very inhumane and often cruel.

Alternatives to war bonds and war savings stamps were provided for those who would not fund the war for conscientious reasons. National Service Board for Religious Objectors offered civilian bonds and Mennonite Central Committee offered Civilian Public Service stamps and War Sufferers' Relief stamps.

Civilian Public Service was disbanded in 1947. By the early 1950s a replacement program, 1-W service, was in place for conscientious objectors classified as 1-W by Selective Service. The new program eliminated the base camps of CPS and provided wages for the men.

1-W service was divided into several categories. The Earning Service involved working in institutions such as hospitals for fairly good wages. Voluntary Service was nonpaying work done in similar institutions, mostly within North America. Pax Service was a nonpaying alternative with assignments overseas. 1-W Mission Supporting Service was like the Earning Service but the wages were used for the support of mission, relief or service projects of the draftees choice. The nonpaying services were promoted by church agencies as a sacrifice to enhance the peace witness of conscientious objectors.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), the thirty-fifth President of the United States, once wrote in a letter to a Navy friend,

Current legal situation

A 1971 United Statesmarker Supreme Courtmarker decision broadened U.S. rules beyond religious belief but denied the inclusion of objections to specific wars as grounds for conscientious objection. Some , desiring to include the objection to specific wars, distinguish between wars of offensive aggression and wars of defense. Some contend that religious, moral, or ethical opposition to war need not be absolute or consistent but may depend on circumstance or political conviction.

Currently, the U.S. Selective Service System states, "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for conscientious objector status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims." In the US, this applies to primary claims, that is, those filed on initial SSS registration. On the other hand, those who apply after either having registered without filing, and/or having attempted or effected a deferral, are specifically required to demonstrate a discrete and documented change in belief, including a precipitant, that converted a non-CO to a CO. The male reference is due to the current "male only" basis for conscription in the United States.

In the United States, there are two main criteria for classification as a conscientious objector. First, the objector must be opposed to war in any form, Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437. Second, the objection must be sincere, Witmer v. United States, 348 U.S. 375. That he must show that this opposition is based upon religious training and belief was no longer a criterion after cases broadened it to include non-religious moral belief, United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333. COs willing to perform non-combatant military functions are classed 1-A-O by the U.S.; those unwilling to serve at all are 1-O.

Immigration to Canada

Extradition treaty and refugee law
Pursuant to the Treaty between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, US authorities can request Canadian authorities to identify, locate, and take into custody US nationals who have committed a crime that carries a possible sentence of more than a year, and subsequently extradite the target back to the US, as per the Extradition Treaty Between the United States of America and Canada.
However, the US government must promise that those extradited will not receive the death penalty, in accordance with the Supreme Court of Canadamarker ruling in United States v. Burns. Thus, deserters who may have had an arrest warrant issued against them in the US are liable for arrest in Canada, unless they legalise their status, which can be done by pursuing a refugee claim, which the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will consider. If the claim is refused, the claimant can appeal the decision in the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, and finally, the Supreme Court of Canada, if leave is granted. If, however, appeals do not overturn the decision of the IRB, the claimant must leave Canada within 30 days, if given a removal order. If this is not done, or departure details are not confirmed with the Canada Border Services Agency, a deportation order is issued, enforceable by any officer of the Queen's peace in Canada.

Vietnam War draft resisters and military deserters
From the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, there was multi-faceted relationship between Canada and the Vietnam War. Starting in 1965, Canada became a choice haven for American draft resisters and deserters.Because they were not formally classified as refugees but were admitted as immigrants, there isno official estimate of how many draft resisters and deserters were admitted to Canada during theVietnam War. One informed estimate puts their number between 30,000 and 40,000. Whether ornot this estimate is accurate, the fact remains that immigration from the United States was high aslong as the war raged and that in 1971 and 1972 Canada received more immigrants from theUnited States than from any other country. Although some of these transplanted Americansreturned home after the Vietnam War, most of them put down roots in Canada, making up thelargest, best-educated group Canadamarker had ever received. Draft resistors were usually college-educated sons of the middle class whocould no longer defer induction into the Selective Service System.

The Canadian government initially refused to admit those who could not prove that they had been discharged from [American] military service.This changed in 1968.

Noteworthy draft resisters include Jim Green (Vancouvermarker city councillor and mayoral candidate), Eric Nagler, and Jesse Winchester. Distinct from draft resisters, there are also noteworthy deserters from that era, which include Andy Barrie (Host of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio's Metro Morning), and Jack Todd (award-winning sports columnist for the Montreal Gazette).

Iraq War resisters
In the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there was a multi-faceted relationship between Canada and Iraq War Resisters.

On June 3, 2008 and March 30, 2009, two motions were passed in the Parliament of Canadamarker in support of the war resisters' efforts to stay in Canada. An Angus Reid Strategies poll taken on June 6 and 7, 2008, showed that 64% of Canadians agreed with that motion. But the motions' recommendation was non-binding and was never implemented by the minority Conservative government.

The significance of this issue on Canada's historical international reputation as a place of refugee is illustrated by this quote from United Kingdommarker's media, the BBC, when they reported on the precedent-setting case of Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman in 2004: "Americans in trouble have been running to Canada for centuries… in the wake of the American Revolution… [in the] Underground Railroad that spirited escaped American slaves to freedom… and in the 1960s, [when] as many as 60,000 young American men dodged the draft…"

After Canada deported several of these war resisters in 2008 and 2009, and after they were imprisoned in the US, the USmarker media Newsweek reported on this historical shift.

As of July 2009, there were at least 28 public cases of U.S. war resisters in Canada, plus some families. When they first arrived in Canada, they mostly went to Torontomarker, Ontariomarker; or Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker because that is where the majority of the organizing of the War Resisters Support Campaign takes place.

There is also an unknown number of US soldiers who have refused to participate in specifically the Iraq war, have come to Canada without going public, and have not applied for legal refugee status. Daniel Sandate was one of those.

All political parties, except the governing minority Conservative Party of Canada, voted twice (in party voting blocs) in favor of allowing Iraq war resisters to remain in Canada. It remains to be seen what will happen to the relevant immigration policy if and when one of those parties replaces the Conservatives as the governing power in Canadamarker.


Mennonites in Canada were automatically exempt from any type of service during World War I by provisions of the Order in Council of 1873. With pressure of public opinion, the Canadian government barred entry of additional Mennonite and Hutterite immigrants, rescinding the privileges of the Order in Council. During World War II, Canadian conscientious objectors were given the options of noncombatant military service, serving in the medical or dental corps under military control or working in parks and on roads under civilian supervision. Over 95% chose the latter and were placed in Alternative Service camps. Initially the men worked on road building, forestry and firefighting projects. After May 1943, as the labour shortage developed within the nation and another Conscription Crisis burgeoned, men were shifted into agriculture, education and industry. The 10,700 Canadian objectors were mostly Mennonites (63%) and Dukhobors (20%).

Eastern Europe

Tsarist Russia allowed Russian Mennonites to run and maintain forestry service units in South Russia in lieu of their military obligation. The program was under church control from 1881 through 1918, reaching a peak of seven thousand conscientious objectors during World War I. An additional five thousand Mennonites formed complete hospital units and transport wounded from the battlefield to Moscowmarker and Ekaterinoslavmarker hospitals.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Leon Trotsky issued a decree allowing alternative service for religious objectors whose sincerity was determined upon examination. Vladimir Chertkov, a follower of Leo Tolstoy, chaired the United Council of Religious Fellowships and Groups, which successfully freed 8000 conscientious objectors from military service during the Russian Civil War. The law was not applied uniformly and hundreds of objectors were imprisoned and over 200 were executed. The United Council was forced to cease activity in December 1920, but alternative service was available under the New Economic Policy until it was abolished in 1936. Unlike the earlier forestry and hospital service, later conscientious objectors were classified "enemies of the people" and their alternate service was performed in remote areas in a gulag-like environment in order to break their resistance and encourage enlistment.

After World War II, conscientious objectors in the Soviet Unionmarker and the German Democratic Republicmarker were typically assigned to construction units, in the absence of a fully civilian alternative to military service.

In Czechoslovakiamarker, those not willing to enter mandatory military service could avoid it by signing a contract for work lasting years in unattractive occupations, such as mining. Those who didn't sign were imprisoned. Both numbers were tiny. After the communist party lost its power in 1989, alternative civil service was established. As of 2006, both the Czech Republicmarker and Slovakiamarker have abolished conscription.

Western Europe

United Kingdom

Before 1916
The country recognized the right not to fight in the 18th century following problems with attempting to force Quakers into military service. The Militia Ballot Act of 1757 allowed Quakers to be excluded from military service. It then ceased to be a major issue, since Britain's armed forces were generally all-volunteer. However, press gangs were used to beef up army and navy rolls on occasions from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. Pressed men did have the right of appeal, in the case of sailors, to the Admiralty. The Royal Navy last took pressed men in the Napoleonic War.


A more general right to refuse military service was not introduced until during World War I, when Britain introduced conscription with the Military Service Act of March 1916. The Act allowed for objectors to be absolutely exempted, to perform alternative civilian service, or to serve as a non-combatant in the army, according to the extent to which they could convince a Military Service Tribunal of the quality of their objection. Around 16,000 men were recorded as conscientious objectors, with Quakers, traditionally pacifist, playing a large role: 4500 objectors went sent to do 'work of national importance' such as farming, 7000 were ordered non-combatant duties, but 6000 were forced into the army, and when they refused orders, they were sent to prison; thirty-five were taken to France and formally sentenced to death but immediately reprieved to 10 years in prison; conditions were made very hard for conscientious objector prisoners — ten died in prison, and around seventy died elsewhere as a result of their treatment. Many objectors accepted non-combat service, for example working in the dangerous role of stretcher-bearers. Conscientious objectors who were deemed not to have made any useful contribution were disenfranchised for five years after the war, but there was no administrative machinery to enforce such disenfranchisement.

Objectors had to prove their right not to fight:

"By the end of the war, 16,000 appeared before Military Service Tribunals. Over 4,500 were sent to do work of national importance such as farming. However, 6,000 were handed over to the army, and then sentenced to severe penalties for disobeying orders. These included 35 who were sentenced to death (afterwards commuted to 10 years in prison), and many others who spent up to three years in prison on repeated sentences. Conditions were very hard for conscientious objectors, and ten of them died in prison; more than sixty died afterwards as a result of the way they had been treated. A plaque to commemorate them hangs in the offices of the pacifist organisation the Peace Pledge Union."

Britain's 1916 conscription legislation did not apply to Irelandmarker, despite its then status as part of the United Kingdommarker; but see Conscription Crisis of 1918. British conscription in World War II also did not apply to Northern Irelandmarker, or to the Irish Free State. Nevertheless, many Irishmen volunteered to fight in both world wars. The various parts of the British Empire and Commonwealth had their own laws: in general, all the larger countries of the Empire participated, and some were, in proportion to their population, major participants.

After the war, there was some revulsion at the arbitrary way the law had been applied. In A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel The Stars Look Down, there is the following exchange:

He goes to jail, as do others with a more conventionally religious view. This is described as one of the harsher tribunals, but within the range of actual events. The CO's cited stance is clearly derived from a well-known and frequently reprinted WW1 article by Dr Alfred Salter, The Religion of a Conscientious Objector, positing the incongruity of "Christ in khaki" with a bayonet.

World War II
In World War II, following the National Service Act of 1939, there were nearly 60,000 registered Conscientious Objectors. Testing by Conscientious Objection Tribunals resumed, this time chaired by a judge, but was much less harsh; if you were not a member of the Quakers or some similar pacifist church, it was generally enough to say that you objected to "warfare as a means of settling international disputes," a phrase from the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The tribunals could grant full exemption, exemption conditional on alternative service, exemption only from combatant duties, or dismiss the application. Of the 61,000 only 3,000 were given complete exemption and 18,000 were dismissed as false claimants. Of those directed to non-combatant military service almost 7000 were allocated to the Non-Combatant Corps, set up in mid-1940; its companies worked in clothing and food stores, in transport, or any military project not requiring the handling of "material of an aggressive nature". In November 1940 it was decided to allow troops in the NCC to volunteer for work in bomb disposal. In total over 350 volunteered. . Other non-combatants worked in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Other acceptable occupations were farm work, mining, firefighting, ambulance service. About 5500 objectors were imprisoned, charged with offences relating to their unrecognised objection. A further 1000 were court-martialled by the armed forces and sent to military detention barracks or civil prisons.Nevertheless, the social stigma attached to 'conchies' (as they were called) was considerable: regardless of the genuineness of their motives, cowardice was often imputed.

Britain retained conscription, with rights of conscientious objection, as National Service until 1960. The use of only volunteer soldiers was hoped to remove the need to consider conscientious objectors. Ever since World War I, however, there have been volunteer members of the armed forces who have developed a conscientious objection to continuing in service; a procedure was devised for them in World War II, and, with adaptations, it continues to this day.


Finland introduced conscription in 1881, but its enforcement was suspended in 1903 as part of Russification. During the Finnish Civil War in 1918, conscription was reintroduced for all able-bodied men. In 1922, the option of noncombatant military service was introduced, but service in the military remained compulsory on pain of imprisonment. After the struggle of pacifist Arndt Pekurinen a law was passed providing for a peacetime-only alternative to military service, or civilian service (Finnish siviilipalvelus). The law was dubbed "Lex Pekurinen" after him. During the Winter War, Pekurinen and other conscientious objectors were imprisoned, and Pekurinen was eventually executed at the front in 1941, during the Continuation War.

After the war, a conscientious objector's civilian service lasted 16 months, whereas military service was 8 months at its shortest. To qualify for civilian service, an objector had to explain his conviction before a board of inspection that included military officers and clergymen. In 1987, the duration of the service was shortened to 13 months and the board of inspection was abolished. In 2008, the term was further shortened to 12 months to match the duration of the longest military service (that of officer trainees and technical crew). Today, a person subject to conscription may apply for civilian service at any time before or during his military service, and the application is accepted as a matter of course. A female performing voluntary military service can quit her service anytime during the first 45 days, however, if she wants to quit after those 45 days she would be treated like a male and assigned to civilian service.

Persons who have completed their civilian service during peacetime have, according to the legislation enacted in 2008, the right to serve in non-military duties also during a crisis situation. They may be called to serve in various duties with the rescue services or other necessary work of a non-military nature. Persons who declare themselves to be conscientious objectors only after a crisis has started must, however, prove their conviction before a special board. Before the new legislation, the right to conscientious objection was acknowledged only in peacetime. The changes to the service term and to the legal status of objectors during a crisis situation were made as a response to human rights concerns voiced by several international bodies[12520] (for example, the United Nations' Human Rights Committee[12521]), who are overseeing the implementation of human rights agreements. These organizations had demanded Finland to take measures to improve its legislation concerning conscientious objectors, which they considered discriminatory. None of these organizations has yet raised concerns on the current legislation.

There are a small number of total objectors who refuse even civilian service, and are imprisoned for six months. This is not registered into the person's criminal record.


According to Article 4(3) of the Germanmarker constitution (Grundgesetz): "No person shall be compelled against his conscience to render military service involving the use of arms. Details shall be regulated by a federal law."

According to Article 12a, every adult male is obligated to military service called Wehrdienst. The draftee can apply for an alternative service called "Zivildienst" (civilian service), if he declares conscience reasons. The civil service may not last longer than military service. This rule has been applied since October 1, 2004. Before that date the civilian service was longer than military service, because soldiers could later be called to military exercises (Wehrübungen). In wartime, civilian draftees are expected to replace those on active military duty in their civilian professions. According to the German constitution, no one may be forced into military service. The Wehrdienst is getting increasingly controversial, because only young men are getting drafted which some consider a violation of the third article of the constitution, that every person is equal before the law, but women are not affected by the Wehrdienst. However, the German constitution also states in Article 12a section 4 that no woman may be forced to serve in the armed forces. Therefore the different treatment of men and women actually has a constitutional basis.


Until 2004 conscription was mandatory to all able-bodied Italianmarker males. Those who were born in the last months of the year typically used to serve in the Navy, unless judged unable for ship service (in this case they could be sent back to Army or Air Force). Until 1972, objectors were considered as traitors and tried by a military tribunal. Since 1972, objectors could choose an alternative civilian service, which was eight months longer than standard military service (fifteen months, then twelve, as for Army and Air Force, 24 months, then eighteen, then twelve as for the Navy) . Since such length was judged too punitive, an arrangement was made to make the civilian service as long as the military service. Since 2004, Italian males no longer need to object because military service has been turned into volunteer for both males and females.


Conscription was mandatory to all able-bodied Belgianmarker males until 1994, when it was suspended. Civilian service was possible since 1963. Objectors could apply for the status of conscience objector. When granted, they did an alternative service with the civil service or with a socio-cultural organisation. The former would last 1.5 times as long as the shortest military service, the latter twice as long.

After their service, objectors are not allowed to take jobs that require them to carry weapons, such as police jobs.

Since conscription was suspended in 1994 and military service is voluntary, the status of conscience objector can not be granted anymore in Belgium. Women could not get this status either.


The Spanish Constitution of 1978 acknowledged conscientious objectors. The Spanish parliament established a longer service (Prestación Social Sustitutoria) as an alternative to the Army. In spite of this, a strong movement appeared that refused both services. The Red Crossmarker was the only important organization employing objectors. Because of this, the waiting lists for the PSS were long, especially in areas like Navarremarker, where pacifism, Basque nationalism and a low unemployment rate discouraged young males from the army. Thousands of insumisos (non-submittants) publicly refused the PSS, and hundreds were imprisoned. In addition a number of those in the military decided to refuse further duties. A number of people not liable for military service made declarations of self-incrimination, stating that they had encouraged insumisión. The government, fearing popular reaction, reduced the length of service and instead of sentencing insumisos to prison declared them unfit for public service.

Fronting the decreasing birth rate and the popular opposition to the army, the Spanish government tried to modernize the model carried from the Franco era, professionalizing it. The new army tried to provide an education for civilian life and participated in peace operations in Bosniamarker.

In spite of this, the number of professional recruits is not covering the expectations of the Ministry of Defence, and there are plans to recruit foreigners from Spanish America .

Africa and the Middle East

South Africa

During the 1980s, hundreds of South African white males dodged the draft, refused the call-up or objected to conscription in the South African Defence Force. Some simply deserted, or joined organisations such as the End Conscription Campaign, an anti-war movement banned in 1988, while others fled into exile and joined the Committee on South African War Resistance. Most lived in a state of internal exile, forced to go underground within the borders of the country until a moratorium on conscription was declared in 1993. Opposition to the Angolan War, "South Africa's Vietnam," was rife in English-speaking campuses, and later the war in the townships became the focus of these groupings.


The issue is highly controversial in Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan are the only two countries refusing to recognize conscientious objection and sustain their membership in the Council of Europe. In January 2006, the European Court of Human Rightsmarker (ECHR) found Turkey had violated article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of degrading treatment) in a case dealing the conscientious objection of Osman Murat Ulke. In 2005, Mehmet Tarhan was sentenced to four years in a military prison as a conscientious objector (he was unexpectedly released in March 2006). Journalist Perihan Magden was tried by a Turkish court for supporting Tarhan and advocating conscientious objection as a human right; but later, she was acquitted.

As of August 2008, there are 69 objectors, 13 of which are female. Nowadays B. Kaan Kavlak is the last conscientious objector of Turkey. He spit out his objection on May 29 2009.


Israel has a long history of individuals and groups refusing military service. Such acts are recorded since the state's foundation in 1948, but during the country's first decades involved mainly a few isolated individuals, usually of a pacifist persuasion, due to pervasive public feeling that the country was fighting for its survival and that the IDF was a "Defense Force" in fact as well as in name. Some left-wingers, especially communists, refused to take part in the 1956 Sinai War, which they perceived as an Israeli alliance with a last effort by Britainmarker and Francemarker to keep a colonial hold over Egyptmarker , but this remained a small-scale, isolated phenomenon.

The war in Lebanon in 1982 precipitated a mass anti-war movement of which a major component was an organised movement by thousands of soldiers (especially reserve soldiers) refusing service in Lebanon. This movement was continued during the First Intifada, the Second Intifada and the Second Lebanon War of 2006 .

While some of the individuals and groups involved fit with the definition of conscientious objection common in other countries, the phenomenon of "selective refusal," soldiers who remain in the army but refuse particular orders or postings, especially to the Occupied Territories, seems more widespread in Israel than anywhere else . The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that refusal to serve was legal on the grounds of unqualified pacifism, but "selective refusal" which accepted some duties and not others was illegal. The court also said that the refusal to serve in the territories is not conscientious objection. Nevertheless, a debate continues on whether "selective refusal" constitutes conscientious objection in a strict sense or should be treated as a separate phenomenon.

On the other hand, some soldiers refused to participate in the eviction of Jewish settlers as part of the Disengagement, believing it to be an act against their own country, and in the immorality of evicting peaceful citizens from their homes.

Asia and Australasia

South Korea

Since the establishment of the Republic of Koreamarker, thousands of young men, conscientious objectors, had no choice but to be imprisoned as criminals. (On September 2007) the South Korea government announced a program to give conscientious objectors an opportunity to participate in alternative civilian service. The program stipulates three years of civilian service that is not connected with the military in any way. (As of October 2007), 803 Jehovah's Witnesses are in prison and 90 are on trial.[12522]

Deaths acknowledged by government. On January 15, 2009, the Korean Presidential Commission on Suspicious Deaths in the Military released its decision acknowledging that the Korean government was responsible for the deaths of five young men who were Jehovah’s Witnesses who were forcibly conscripted into the army. The deaths resulted from “the state’s anti-human rights violence” and “its acts of brutality” during the 1970s that continued into the mid-1980s. This decision is significant since it is the first one recognizing the state’s responsibility for deaths resulting from violence within the military. [12523]

According to the Commission’s decision, “the beatings and acts of brutality committed against them by military officials were attempts to compel and coerce them to act against their conscience (religion) and were unconstitutional, anti-human rights acts that infringed severely upon the freedom of conscience (religion) guaranteed in the Constitution.” [12524]

The Korean government’s National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NAP), has not shown a clear stance on the pressing human rights issues such as the National Security Act, the death penalty and the rights of conscientious objectors to military service.[12525]

In 1990 the Republic of Koreamarker ratified a UN treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[12526], which safeguards the freedoms of thought, conscience, and religion for all people. The Korean Military Service Act, therefore, clearly infringes on constitutional rights—a direct violation of such international standards that honor the right of people to conscientiously object to mandatory military service.

Life after release. The records of conscientious objectors to military service are kept by a Korean investigative body as criminal files for five years. As a consequence, conscientious objectors are not allowed to enter a government office and apply for any type of national certification exam, (or very unlikely) will they be employed by any company that inquires about criminal records.[12527]

Other countries

As of 2005, conscientious objectors in several countries may serve as field paramedics in the army (although some do not consider this a genuine alternative, as they feel it merely helps to make war more humane instead of preventing it). Alternatively, they may serve without arms, although this, too, has its problems. In certain European countries such as Austriamarker, Germanymarker, Greece and Switzerlandmarker, there is the option of performing Civilian Service, subject to the review of a written application or after a hearing about the state of conscience (see below). In Greece, Civilian Service is twice as long as the corresponding military service and in Switzerland, the Civilian Service is one and one-half times longer. In 2005, the Swiss parliament considered whether willingness to serve one and a half times longer than an army recruit was sufficient proof of sincerity, citing that the cost of judging the state of conscience of a few thousand men per year was too great.


In the United States, military personnel who come to a conviction of conscientious objection during their tour of duty must appear in front of a panel of experts, which consists of psychiatrists, military chaplains and officers. In Switzerlandmarker, the panel consists entirely of civilians, and military personnel have no authority whatsoever. In Germany, objections to military service are filed in writing, and an oral hearing is scheduled only if the written testimonials have been unconvincing; in practice, due to the heavy workload—about half of all draftees in a given year file as conscientious objectors—the competent authority reviews written applications only summarily, and it denies the alternative of a civilian service only in cases of grave shortcomings or inconsistencies in the written testimonials. Commonly, once an objector is summoned to a hearing, he has to explain what experiences drove him to recognize a conflict concerning his conscience.

Common questions

Category Questions
Generality How and when did you decide against the military service
Why can't you arrange military service with your conscience
What prohibits you from serving in the military
Military service Do you fear having to fight, or to use force
Do you want to abolish the army
What do you think about the phrase "We have the army to defend us, not to kill others?"
Use of force What would you do if you were attacked
What do you feel when you see that others are attacked
What is violence, exactly
Would you rather experience losses than having to use force
Belief What does your belief say
Would you describe yourself as a pacifist
What basic values, besides objecting to violence, do you have
What entity gives you the certainty that your thinking and your feelings are right
Implementation of your beliefs Why didn't you choose to go into prison if your conscience is that strong
Why didn't you use medical reasons to avoid military service
What do you actually do to further peace, or is your attitude the only peaceful thing about you
Personality Who is in charge of defending your children in case of an armed conflict
Do you live your ethical principles inside your family
What books do you read
What do you demand from yourself
Are you merely a leader, a follower or a loner

These are common questions from Swiss hearings. By and large, these are asked in many other countries. They help to determine if the objector is politically motivated or if he is just too lazy to serve the country; or if he truly has a conflict stemming from his conscience. Arguments like "The army is senseless," "It is not just to wage wars," or opposition to involvement in a specific war (World War II, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War; a hypothetical war of West Germany against fellow Germans from the GDR during the Cold War) will hardly ever be accepted. He has only, and convincingly, to show that his conscience does not allow participation in an organisation which is intended to use violence.


In hearings about one's personal conflicts of conscience, certain subtleties may arise. One example from interrogations in Germany is about a plank of wood floating on the sea, and you, shipwrecked, need cling to it in order to save your life. Another person swims nearby and he also is in need of this plank. If you deny him the plank, you are, according to the interrogators ready to accept the death of a fellow human being, and therefore able to serve in the military. Otherwise, if you are willing to allow the other person use of the plank you are willing to die and therefore not credible.

In other examples, the interviewers would ask if one was ready to kill in self-defense or in the defense of a friend or family member or why one had not revoked their driver's license, for driving carries a risk of accidentally killing someone.

In Britain during World War I, there was an argument put forth by a conscientious objector of note . He asked the people who were part of the tribunal if they were Christian, when they all replied in the positive he then remarked, "Could you imagine Christ in khaki running out into no-mans land?" None of the panelists could, and the man was given total exemption due to 'religious beliefs'.

In various places, questions about such hypothetical situations have come into disuse because they do not explore the present-day state of the objector's conflict of conscience, but possible future actions which, with a great probability, will never take place. In the 1980s, these types of questions were abolished in Germany after the Federal Constitutional Courtmarker found them unconstitutional.

Similar hearings and questions about hypothetical situations were in use in Finlandmarker for most of the history of Finnish conscientious objection, from its introduction in the 1930s to the 1980s, when they were abolished. Today, draftees have to specify whether they are objecting for religious or ethical reasons by marking the appropriate checkbox on a form, but hearings are no longer held. If conscripts turn into conscientious objectors during their service, the Defense Force will inquire of their reasons for internal research purposes, but the objectors are not required to answer unless they wish to do so. Usually, a conscientious objector will be released from the military within a few hours of making the claim.

See also


  • Alexander, Paul, (2008), Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God. Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing/Herald Press. A history and analysis of conscientious objection in the Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination.
  • Catherine Ryan, Gary Weimberg (2008), "Soldiers of Conscience" [videorecording]; Luna Productions, aired on PBS, profile of 4 US Conscientious Objectors during the Iraq War.[12528]
  • Gillette v. U.S. 401 U.S. 437 (1971), [12529]
  • Selective Service, "Conscientious Objection and Alternative Service: Who Qualifies", [12530]
  • Bennett, Scott H. (2005). Army GI, Pacifist CO: The World War II Letters of Frank and Albert Dietrich (Fordham Univ. Press).
  • Bennett, Scott H. (2003). Radical Pacifism: The War Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915-1963. (Syracuse Univ. Press).
  • Keim, Albert N. (1990). The CPS Story: An Illustrated History of Civilian Public Service, pp. 75–79. Good Books. ISBN 1-56148-002-9
  • Gingerich, Melvin (1949), Service for Peace, A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service, Mennonite Central Committee.
  • Krahn, Cornelius, Gingerich, Melvin & Harms, Orlando (Eds.) (1955). The Mennonite Encyclopedia, Volume I, pp. 76–78. Mennoniite Publishing House.
  • Mock, Melanie Springer (2003). Writing Peace: The Unheard Voices of Great War Mennonite Objectors, Cascadia Publishing House. ISBN 1-931038-09-0
  • Pannabecker, Samuel Floyd (1975), Open Doors: A History of the General Conference Mennonite Church, Faith and Life Press. ISBN 0-87303-636-0
  • Quakers in Britain — Conscientious Objectors.
  • Spartacus Education Pacifism page.
  • Rick Tejada-Flores, Judith Ehrlich (2000), "The good war and those who refused to fight it" [videorecording]; Paradigm Productions in association with the Independent Television Service, aired on PBS.
  • McNair, Donald (2008) A Pacifist at War: Military Memoirs of a Conscientious Objector in Palestine 1917-1918 Anastasia Press, Much Hadham ISBN 978-0-9536396-1-8


  1. See under "Who are the signatories of the Declaration?"
  2. >
  3. Source: Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
  4. "The Seventh-day Adventist Church: Controversies, books and other resources",, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
  5. "Origin of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement".
  8. Obama's 'big' 2002 anti-war speech wasn't big then
  9. Coastal Courier "Soldier charged with desertion"
  10. Gingerich p. 2.
  11. Gingerich p. 3.
  12. Gingerich p. 4.
  13. Gingerich p. 11.
  14. Mock.
  15. Smith, p. 545.
  16. Gingerich p. 147.
  17. Gingerich p. 213.
  18. Gingerich pp. 77-78.
  19. Gingerich p. 452.
  20. Pannabacker pp. 260-269.
  21. Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437
  22. Selective Service
  23. Treaty between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Mutual Legal assistance in Criminal Matters
  24. Treaty Between the United States of America and Canada
  25. The refugee system: Refugee claims in Canada—After applying
  26. Smith, p. 321. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 also barred immigrants and objectors from voting. This bar on entry was overturned in the 1920s, allowing immigrants to escape Soviet repression.
  27. Gingerich p. 420.
  28. Krahn, pp. 76-78.
  29. Smith, p. 311.
  30. The decree was issued in October 1918. Smith, p. 329.
  31. Smith, p. 330.
  32. Bernd Eisenfeld: Das Verhältnis der Partei- und Staatsführung der DDR zu den Bausoldaten a) die agitatorische Diskriminierung der Bausoldaten b) die substantielle Diskriminierung der Bausoldaten. Pp. 115-125. in: Kriegsdienstverweigerung in der DDR - ein Friedensdienst? Genesis, Befragung, Analyse, Dokumente. 190 Seiten + Anhang. Hrsg. Haag + Herchen, Frankfurt 1978. ISBN 3-88129-158-X. In German
  33. [ * Sergej Kaledin: Das Baubataillon.Übersetzung der russischen Originalausgabe "Strojbat" (1991). Verlag Volk & Welt. Berlin 1992. ISBN 3-353-00927-2. In German
  34. A.J.P. Taylor, English History, 1914–1945 (Oxford University Press, 1990), p116.
  36. Spanish Constitution section 30.2
  37. The National Registry of Conscientious Objectors launched in 1989, listed some 700 plus objectors for that year alone. Source: Argus, Thursday, September 21, 1989
  38. "Chamber Judgement Ulke vs. Turkey" , Accessed June 7, 2006.
  39. ( complete list)
  40. Beratungsstelle für Militärverweigerung und Zivildienst.
  41. The anecdote is represented in, or is coming from Cronin's 1935 novel The Stars Look Down.

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