Country report and updates: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Submission to the 87th Session of the Human Rights Committee: July 2006:
Paragraph 95 of the State Report (CCPR/C/BIH/1), concerning military service and conscientious objection, has, according to information we have received from Prigovir BiH (the conscientious objectors’ organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina), been overtaken by events. On
29th September 2005, the Parliament passed a Defence Reform Act.
Antimilitarists in Bosnia and Hercegovina recently were suprised by an unexpected victory: conscription in the country will formally end on 1 January 2006, and in practice conscription has already ended. The end of conscription is part of a bigger defence reform in the country, passed by parliament on 5 October. The reform includes the reduction of the size of the Armed Forces to about 10,000, the abolishment of separate Defence Ministries for the two entities ("the Federation" and Republika Srpska), and in general will move the Bosnian military closer to NATO standards.
As published in The Right to Conscientious Objection in Europe, Quaker Council for European Affairs, 2005.
From 20-22 September, a regional conference "To Europe through conscientious objection and civilian service" took place in Sarajevo, organised by the regional network "Objection for peace".
Yugoslavia passed a new law on the Yuguslav army in January 2002, but this law still doesn't include any regulation on conscientious objection. Conscientious objectors can only perform a service without arms within the Yugoslav army - clearly not satisfactory for conscientious objectors. Media reports lead to quite some confusion. Some media wrote about a "military civilian service", and some even presented this option as a genuine civilian service, so that many conscripts got quite confused.
The present legal basis of conscription is unclear. Before 1996 the legal basis of conscription was probably the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Defence Law. On 6 July 1996 a new Law on Defence was passed, but not much information is available about it. 
Military service is performed in the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina or in the Bosnian Croat forces (HVO). Both these forces are officially to merge into one in 1999.
Not much is known about the conscription system in the Republika Srpska. The legal basis for conscription was probably the Defence Law of the former Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. On 28 December 1996 a new Army Law was passed, and proposals for a fresh law on defence were discussed in early 1997.  
The length of military service is 9 months. It was reduced from 18 months with the passing of the new 1996 Army Law.
1.The Assembly recalls its Resolution 984 (1992) on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, its Resolution 1019 (1994) on the humanitarian situation and needs of the refugees, displaced persons and other vulnerable groups in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and its Recommendation 1218 (1993) on establishing an international court to try serious violations of international humanitarian law.
2.It refers to the European Parliament resolution on deserters from the armed forces of states in the former Yugoslavia adopted on 28 October 1993.
On 4-6 March, 19 people from 10 European countries met to discuss the situation of draft resisters and deserters seeking asylum. This has become a major issue in Europe with the large numbers of refugees from the war in former-Yugoslavia, especially as several governments insist that Croatia and Serbia are not part of the war zone.