In my country, there is a saying: "a hornless ram does not fight with a horned one", which is advice to avoid a fight when your opponent has a significant advantage over you. We have something similar in the biblical story of David and Goliath, which portrays adversaries of unequal strength.

WRI's Nonviolence Programme has published a new interview with a representative from the Save Sinjajevina campaign, who managed to stop NATO soldiers from using a unique pasturelands in the highlands of Montenegro for training and target practice.

Boro Kitanoski – Peace Action, Macedonia

“Proclamation to the Serbian friends

MAN. Your Serbian virtue must be loyalty. Be loyal in the Orthodox
Church to the God of your Holy Ancestors. Be in the St. Sava’s
patriotism loyal to your Fatherland. Be in household responsibility
loyal to your family. Without God, without a Fatherland, without a
family, You are nobody and nothing.


Placheolder image

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

ConscriptionConscientious objection


Conscription is enshrined in Article 57 of the 2003 Constitution and is further regulated by the 1993 Defence Law.

The length of military service is 9 months.

All men between the ages of 18 and 35 are liable for military service.

Serbia: Numbers of conscientious objectors grow - change in regulations

As the numbers of applications for conscientious objector status continue to grow in Serbia and Montenegro, the authorities respond with new regulations for conscientious objectors, which are even less in compliance with international standards then the present regulations.

Ivana Petrovic reports for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting: "According to recent data from the defence ministry in February, 8,500 recruits opted to serve their country in civilian form this year.


More than 12000 young men applied for conscientious objection in Serbia and Montenegro since the introduction of regulation for conscientious objection came into force last year, and substitute service began on 22 December 2003. According to information from the Army of Serbia and Montenegro, 6155 persons were performing substitute service in October 2004, and 5621 cases were still pending. This is about 30% of all persons liable to conscription.

Source: Email Igor Seke, 29 October 2004

12 August 2004


21. The Committee takes note of the information provided by the delegation whereby conscientious objection is governed by a provisional decree, which is to be replaced by a law, which will recognize full conscientious objection to military service and an alternative civil service that will have the same duration as military service (art. 18).

The right to conscientious objection is derived from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and seen as a manifestation of the freedom of religion and belief. The then CSCE stressed the right to conscientious objection in paragraph 18 of the Document of the Copenhagen meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension in June 1990.The UN Commission on Human Rights stressed the right to conscientious objection in several resolution, most recently Resolution 1998/77, 2000/34, 2002/45. The Council of Europe also stresses the right to conscientious objection, especially in resolution 337 (1967) and recommendations 1518 (2001), R (87) 8, and 816 (1977).

Conscription and Conscientious Objection Documentation Centre
War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, Britain
Tel.: +44-20-7278 4040, Fax: +44-20-7278 0444, email:

To: Council of Europe, UN Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch
Update of report from 7 September 2002
Date: 13 September 2002
Our Ref.: YU10813-YU12368Introduction

In September 2002, War Resisters' International sent a delegation to Yugoslavia, to support two con

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