For many years, it looked like obligatory military service was on the way out. But in the last five years, the picture has changed: Norway has extended conscription for women; Sweden has reintroduced conscription for all; Ukraine, Georgia, Lithuania and Kuwait have reintroduced conscription for men after short hiatuses; Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have introduced conscription for the first time. We look at why governments are turning to compulsion in filling their armies, and what this means for pacifist movements.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reintroduced compulsory military service, which had been abolished several months ago by the former Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. This was an expected move by the current Defence Minister, Levan Izoria, who announced his plan to reintroduce conscription in November 2016.

In November this year, Georgia’s Minister of Defence, Levan Izoria, announced the reenactment of compulsory military service at the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD), after being abolished several months ago by the former Minister Tina Khidasheli. Minister Izoria also stated that, restoring the compulsory military service, its implementation will include some changes.

Recently, two nations have re-announced a cessation in conscription, having postponed previous plans to abolish conscription.

Ukranian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev has said that military conscription will be suspended in 2013. The press service of the Defense Ministry quoted Lebedev as saying that “In 2013, the structure and the system of management of the Armed Forces will be revised, military conscription will be suspended simultaneously with the transfer to the recruitment of army under contracts as in leading countries of the world".



37. Slovenia took note of the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee on the issue of conscientious objectors, in particular, the differences between the length of non-military alternative service and military service and asked what steps had been taken to address that difference. Slovenia made recommendations.


II. Conclusions and/or recommendations

105. The recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue and listed below have been examined by Georgia enjoy the support of Georgia:


Stop War!

Placheolder image

The Human Rights Centre calls for international organizations to quickly intervene diplomatically and restore the peaceful dialogue between the conflicting sides.

A statement by the Federation of Education, Science and Technical Workers, CRAS-IWA

The eruption of military actions between Georgia and South Ossetia threatens to develop into a large-scale war between Georgia supported by NATO on the one hand, and the Russian state on the other. Thousands of people are already killed and wounded – principally, peaceful inhabitants; whole cities and settlements have been wiped out. The society has beed flooded with muddy streams of a nationalist and chauvinistic hysteria.

According to a report by RIA Novosti, Georgia might abolish conscription by 2009. "After 2009, the Defense Ministry will abandon conscription, and the military will shift to a contract basis," Nodar Kharshiladze, head of the ministry's planning and defense policy department told a defense conference. He said a network of reservist battalions would be set up by that time. "All reservists will take a single combat training course in 2007 and a refresher course in military professions in 2008.


Placheolder image

As published in The Right to Conscientious Objection in Europe, Quaker Council for European Affairs, 2005.

ConscriptionConscientious objectionABKHAZIASOUTH OSSETIA


Conscription is enshrined in Article 101 of the 1995 Constitution.

Subscribe to Georgia

We have had a kind offer from an individual donor, who will match up to £5,000 of donations from others - so by supporting War Resisters' International today your donation is worth double!