In December 2020, War Resisters' International has submitted a report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS) on discrimination against conscientious objectors. The submission was in response to the OHCHR-IPMS request for inputs – and in particular sample legislative provisions and jurisprudence – into the publication “Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide on Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation”, under development in 2020.
In the report, WRI provides an overview of international and regional human rights standards, including relevant jurisprudence, concerning discrimination against conscientious objectors, primarily when the right to conscientious objection is not recognised at all. The report also includes country cases where there are inadequate provisions on conscientious objection to military service, those include a possible alternative service or an exemption.
In the report both good practices and remaining challenges are cited, with examples from different countries. The document concludes with relevant recommendations about anti-discrimination provisions for conscientious objectors. You can see the full report here, or download below.
With the input from different bodies and organisations, OHCHR-IPMS and the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) will prepare “Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide on Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation”. Hopefully, the issue of the necessary anti-discrimination legislation for conscientious objectors will form part of such guide.