Interim report on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance prepared by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights
3. The right of conscientious objection
77. With regard to the third category of violations, the Special Rapporteur wishes to stress that the right of conscientious objection is a right which is closely linked with freedom of religion.
78. The Special Rapporteur considers it necessary to remind States of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1989/59, reaffirmed several times, which recognizes the right of everyone to have conscientious objections to military service as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as laid down in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Commission therefore recommends to States with a system of compulsory military service, where such provision has not already been made, that they introduce for conscientious objectors various forms of alternative service which should be in principle of a non-combatant or civilian character, in the public interest and not of a punitive nature. In its resolution 1984/93 on conscientious objection to military service, the Commission on Human Rights also called for minimum guarantees to ensure that conscientious objection status can be applied for at any time.