Right to Refuse to Kill

Language
English

War Resisters' International's programme The Right to Refuse to Kill combines a wide range of activities to support conscientious objectors individually, as well as organised groups and movements for conscientious objection.

Our main publications are CO-Alerts (advocacy alerts sent out whenever a conscientious objector is prosecuted) and CO-Updates (a bimonthly look at developments in conscientious objection around the world).

We maintain the CO Guide - A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System, which can help COs to challenge their own governments, and protect themselves from human rights abuses.

Information about how nation states treat conscientious objectors can be found in our World Survey of Conscientious Objection and recruitment.

More info on the programme is available here.

IFOR participated in the General Debate which took place at the UN during the 49th session of the Human Rights Council, concerning item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council's attention.

IFOR has delivered a statement concerning forced conscription in Eritrea and related issues such as the violation of the right to conscientious objection, the armed conflict in Ethiopia and the refugees rights for the Eritrean fleeing from the indefinite National Service and looking for protection abroad.

Human Rights Council, 49th session 

Ahead of the hearing before the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, of the cases of Charis Vasileiou and Nikolas Stefanidis, conscientious objectors to military service whose applications have been rejected by the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Amnesty International, Connection e.V., the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and War Resisters’ International (WRI) call on the Greek authorities to annul the decisions of rejection and grant them a fair examin

On March 10th, on the occasion of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, IFOR participated in the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, and addressed the issue of the right to conscientious objection to military service in the plenary.

The statement has been co-sponsored by War Resisters' International and referred as well to the concerning situation of armed conflicts.

On March 10th, IFOR -with a statement co-sponsored by War Resisters' International, participated in a session at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement presented at the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, addressed the issue of the right to conscientious objection to military service in the plenary.

Read the full statement below.

The Union of Conscientious Objection Finland (AKL) condemns Russia’s war in Ukraine in violation of international law. The Union is concerned that, according to several sources, Russia has used not only contract soldiers but also ordinary conscripts to attack.

There are many shortcomings in the exercise of the right to conscientious objection in Russia, and many of those ordered in the war of aggression are likely to be there against their will. Those ordered and refused military action run the risk of being prosecuted and severely punished in Russia.

In solidarity with prisoners for peace, WRI continues to release the list of those who are currently in prison for their conscientious objection to military service and their work for peace, and encourage everyone to write to them You can find the list here.

On December 6th, the UN Human Rights Committee announced their decision on the case of conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis from Greece. The Committee found violations of articles 9, 12, 14, and 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and asked Greece to take necessary measures addressing these violations. War Resisters’ International, together with Connection e.V., the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, and  International Fellowship of Reconciliation As released a statement welcoming and evaluating this statement. 

Subscribe to Right to Refuse to Kill