Conscientious objection: news from Colombia, and Finnish petition
Campaigners in Colombia have been boosted by a new ruling from the Constitutional Court. Yesterday, in a case brought by two conscientious objectors (COs) who had been forcibly recruited into the military, the Court ordered the National Recruitment Office to: resolve applications for CO within 15 days; to publish a booklet that notifies youth of their grounds for exemption, deferral, and their right to CO; and to end the practices of arbitrary detention, including batidas (recruitment raids, usually in public spaces). This right to claim conscientious objection includes once they have already entered the barracks. They have also asked the Army to report, within six months, on the implementation of these orders. If fully adopted, the changes would mark a huge change for young people in Colombia, and especially COs.
In Finland, WRI's affiliate AKL (Union of Conscientious Objectors) are petitioning the government to end conscription and the imprisonment of COs. Please add your name to it here.