Compulsory military service in Honduras, abolished in 1994, still brings painful memories of terrible human rights violations such as forced recruitment, forced disappearances and the torture and death of those who either refused to enlist or were campaigning against it. War Resisters’ International strongly believes that the initiatives to reestablish a compulsory military service are not a step in the right direction, if the desired result is to decrease the crime rate and avoid criminal organizations recruiting the youth of Honduras, which happen to be the two most commonly used arguments for reintroducing the compulsory military service.

The Honduras' coup has brought attention to the link between the coup and the Israel military. Social movements continue to mobilise in Honduras against the coup, but also international pressure is of huge importance. Revealing the links with Israel gives some background information on the latest intervention against human rights by military in Latin America.

After the military coup in Honduras in June 2009, resistance is growing in the country to what is seen as a reintroduction of conscription, which had been abolished by a constitutional amendment in 1994. Already in July 2009, human rights activists accused the Honduran military to forcefully recruit for the Armed Forces.

We - antimilitarists from different Latin American countries, with the support of the worldwide network War Resisters' International (WRI-IRG) - reject and condemn the coup d'état carried out by the Honduran armed. We oppose the use of military intervention to impose a solution on social conflicts. We oppose all forms of repressions and smashing the freedoms of expression and association now occurring in this Central American country, and in particular now we oppose the military repression that favours one political sector in civil conflicts.

The Ibero-American Convention on Young People's Rights, which entered into force on 1 March 2008, explicitly recognises the right to conscientious objection. Article 12 of the Convention reads: "Young people have the right to form a conscientious objection against compulsory military service." It also includes a commitment of states to create legal instruments to safeguard this right, and to progressively end compulsory military service.


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30/04/1998 1 Conscription

conscription not enforced

Since 1994 conscription has not been enforced.

At present there is no clear legal basis for conscription.

In May 1994 the Honduran Congress amended art. 276 of the 1982 Constitution, according to which all able-bodied men aged 18 to 30 were liable to two years' military service. The constitutional amendment established voluntary military service in peace time and called for the 1985 Military Service Act and corresponding regulations to be redrafted.

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