European Committee of Social Rights: Conclusions 2008 (Romania)
Service required to replace military service
In its previous conclusions, the Committee found that the situation was not in conformity because alternative service lasted 24 months instead of 12 and this was excessive. It took the view that the additional 12 months during which the persons concerned were deprived of the right to earn a living through freely undertaken work went beyond reasonable limits in relation to the length of military service. The Committee notes that, under Act No. 446/2006, which came into force on 1 January 2007, the length of alternative service is now to be set by a Government decision. According to the report, it is planned to set this at twelve months.
Admittedly, recognised conscientious objectors are in a better position than they are in countries that do not grant them special status or where refusal to serve is punishable by imprisonment. But even if the state acknowledges the principle of conscientious objection and institutes a replacement service, it cannot make the replacement service longer than is necessary to ensure that refusal to serve on grounds of conscience is genuine, in order to avoid the replacement service being chosen as the most advantageous solution rather than felt as a constraint.
The Committee considers that, this reform will enable Romania to be in conformity with Article 1§2 of the Revised Charter on this point. However, the situation was not in conformity with the Revised Charter during the reference period. It asks, however, for the next report to indicate when the law has come into force.