24 July 2000
18. The Committee takes note that conscientious objection to military service is allowed only to members of a registered religious organization whose teachings prohibit the use of arms. The Committee regrets that the State party has not sought to justify why the provision on alternative service entails a period of service twice as long as that required of military conscripts, and why persons of higher education serve for a considerably lesser period in the military and in alternative service (arts. 18 and 26).
Conscientious objection should be provided for in law, in a manner that is consistent with articles 18 and 26 of the Covenant, bearing in mind that article 18 also protects freedom of conscience of non-believers. The State party should fix the periods of military service and alternative service on a non-discriminatory basis.