Country report and updates: Seychelles

Seychelles

05/08/1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

One source states that a two-year compulsory military service exists. [6]

However, other sources suggest that the Seychelles have no military conscription, but a National Youth Service exists, which was compulsory until 1993. It comprised military training but now emphasises education. [2] [3] [4] [5]

It is not exactly known whether military training is still part of the National Youth Service.

National Youth Service

After four years of secondary school, all youths are 'encouraged' to participate for a year in the National Youth Service (NYS). [3] [5]

Although the NYS participation seems to be voluntary, it has been a requirement for getting a government job or for entering higher education (the Polytechnic School for Vocational Training). In 1993 the government abolished this requirement, but for admission to the Polytechnic, preference is still given to NYS participants. [5] [4]

In 1995 in the National Assembly the opposition proposed legislation to abolish the NYS but the proposal was rejected. [5]

recruitment

According to the government, enlistment in the armed forces is voluntary. [2]

It is not known how the actual recruitment into the armed forces takes place and if there is any relation to the NYS.

2 Conscientious objection

There is no known legal provision for conscientious objection.

3 Desertion

No information available.

5 History

Before the 1990s conscription existed in the form of a compulsory National Youth Service. From the age of 15 onwards, all youth were required to perform a two-year national service, which involved (para)military training and political indoctrination. The NYS was strongly criticised. In 1979 3,000 students protested against the compulsory NYS. In 1990 the NYS was curtailed to one year. In 1993 the NYS became really voluntary. [1] [3] [4] [5]

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces, consisting of an army and a paramilitary coast guard, are about 400 strong - 0.56 percent of the population. [7]

Sources

[1] Franda, Marcus 1982. The Seychelles - Unquiet Islands. Westview Press/Gower, Boulder, Colorado, USA. [2] IRBDC 1990. Information from the Seychelles delegation to the United Nations, 24 April 1990. [3] 'Seychelles: National Youth Service reduced to one year'. in: The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Paris, 15 September 1990. [4] IRBDC 1992. Seychelles: update. IRBDC, Ottawa, Canada. [5] US Department of State. Country reports on Human Rights Practices for 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993. Washington DC. [6] UN Commission on Human Rights 1997. The question of conscientious objection to military service, report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1995/83. United Nations, Geneva. [7] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London, UK.