Colombia: About the law that regulates Conscientious Objection
In August of 2017 the law 1861 of August 4, 2017, that regulates the military recruitment in Colombia was approved. A law that recognized, for the first time, conscientious objection as a cause of exoneration from compulsory military service along with other causes that were already contemplated: being an only child, being married, being a victim of the armed conflict, among others.
This law also states that educational institutions, together with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of National Education, have the responsibility to inform the students of the last grade (when they must define their military situation) about the causes of exemption from military service, as well as their right to Conscientious Objection.
After one year and three months of passing this law, 379 young men have submitted their request for conscientious objection; being Cali and Bogotá the cities that registered the highest number of applications and Montería and Barranquilla cities that did not register any request.
This is a significant progress and being in a law make young men feel confident to demand their right to conscientious objection. However, so far this year, 64,386 young men have been incorporated into the Army, which means that very few know conscientious objection as an alternative and a legitimate reason to refuse to do the compulsory military service.