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.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó delegates from other Colombian peace communities and visitors from 14 countries met in settlements La Unión and San Josesito de Apartadó (where the Community resettled after police installed themselves on the territory of the original community) in the municipality of Apartadó, Antioquia province.

Freedom of conscience and obligatory military service in the Political Constitution of Colombia The legal framework over recognition of conscientious objection in Colombia remains the contradiction between Articles 18 and 216 in the 1991 Constitution. In the chapter on fundamental rights, article 18 guarantees freedom of conscience: “nobody will be obliged to act against their conscience”.

Colombia is one of the countries with the longest history of armed conflict – by now more than 50 years. Decades of war and violence by the state's military forces, paramilitaries, and different guerilla forces lead to a militarisation of the entire Colombian socierty. After several failed peace processes, the "war on terror" and its Colombian counterparts, the "Plan Colombia" and "Plan Patriota" lead to an escalation of the armed conflict.

Editorial

Placheolder image

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2007 focuses on Colombia, a country with more than 50 years of (civil) war and violence. A country also, where conscientious objectors face challenges different from elsewhere – the threat of involuntary recruitment not only coming from the state military, but also from the various irregular forces and guerillas in the country.

The programme includes the following are the following:

* An integration activity on the 11th of may between all international and national delegates
* An antimilitarist concert on the 12th of May
* A meeting of the National Assembly of CO and the international delegates the 13th and 14th of May to evaluate and programm the strategies of the international solidarity network and to prepare the nonviolent actions for the 15th of May.
* Nonviolent actions in various places of Medellín on the 15th of May

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2007 will focus on the situation of conscientious objection in Colombia.


The programme includes the following:



An integration activity on the 11th of may between all international and national delegates
An antimilitarist concert on the 12th of May
A meeting of the National Assembly of CO and the international delegates the 13th and 14th of May to evaluate and programm the strategies of the international solidarity network and to prepare the nonv

Editorial

Placheolder image

Since the 1980s, 15 May is celebrated as International
Conscientious Objectors' Day. Originally coordinated by the
International Conscientious Objectors' Meeting (ICOM), War Resisters'
International stepped in to coordinate and promote International
Conscientious Objectors' Day since ICOM ceased to meet ever since ICOM
1995 in Chad.



Dear friends and war resisters,


You receive a fraternal greeting from the National Assembly of
Conscientious Objectors - ANOOC, a network of organizations and groups
from different regions of Colombia who are promoting conscientious
objection against all - legal and illegal - armed groups, with a
nonviolent approach.

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2007 will focus on the situation of conscientious objection in Colombia. Already in April 2007, several groups of Colombian objectors will tour Western Europe to help to build and strengthen a support network for Colombian objectors. The central activities for International Conscientious Objectors' Day will take place in Medellin, Colombia, around 15 May 2007.

Since the founding of War Resisters' International in 1921, the right to refuse to kill - conscientious objection - has been at the core of WRI's work. Although this right to today recognised as an international standard, it is in practice often not granted, and those who claim their right are thrown into prison, or worse (see for example the article on Eritrea in this Broken Rifle).

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