Denmark: Parliament examines compulsory defence day for women


Denmark's "Defence Commission", which has been set up in 2007 to provide direction to the government's 2010-14 National Defense Plan, advocates retaining conscription, but recommends a broad debate "into the future value" of conscription, so a report released in March 2009. The commission's report calls for defense spending be increased by 10 to 15 percent to accommodate a rapid expansion of Denmark's land forces and important equipment procurement programmes.
Three months later, the Danish parliament reached agreement on a major funding boost for the military. The issue of conscription was also discussed as part of the defence budget negotiations and parliament will further examine if all 18-year-old women should be forced to attend the military's draft board reviews in the same way as their male peers, so the Copenhagen Post in report published on 25 June.

Presently, the selection of conscripts is by balloting, as the number of young men available for military service is much greater than the number considered necessary by the Danish National Forces. Selection involves drawing lots during medical examination, which takes place during newly introduced “Danish Defence Days” (Forsvarets dag). The lots are actually not drawn by the conscripts themselves but by the military authorities.

There are more conscripts than the armed forces need. Therefore in practice only 30 to 50 percent of all liable conscripts are called up for military service. Most conscripts in the armed forces have volunteered to serve.

Sources: Danish Commission Calls for Bigger Defense Budget, 16 April 2009; The Copenhagen Post: Defence forces get multi-billion kroner boost, 25 June 2009; War Resisters' International: Country report and updates: Denmark, 2008


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