Switzerland votes on the future of conscription


Swiss citizens will have the chance to vote on whether conscription will be maintained on September 22nd. The Swiss government has already come out against the proposals.

In Switzerland, all men between the ages of 19 and 25 are liable for basic military training. The length of basic military training is 21 weeks, and 18 weeks in some exceptional circumstances.

The motion, calling for the "repeal of obligatory military service," was launched by a group advocating the end of the Swiss army, GSSA, WRI's section in Switzerland. They launched a campaign in 2011 (see the CO Update report) calling for a referendum to abolish conscription in Switzerland. The campaign aimed at changing article 59 of the Swiss constitution, which is the legal basis for conscription in the country.

Sources: Geneva Launch, Swiss military conscription must remain, says parliament, 5 March 2013; Group for Switzerland Without an Army; Fox News, Swiss government urges voters to keep military conscription, 16 August 2013.

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