Inter-American Human Rights Commission


Since the 1950s, the right to conscientious objection to military service in international human rights law has excited the interest of both non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations in a variety of contexts. This book examines the subject, beginning with an exploration of the concept of conscience and its evolution with a view toward understanding the meaning and potential scope of the right to conscientious objection from a legal perspective. It also describes the different categories into which conscientious objectors can be divided, explain the differences between these categories, and investigate how these differences are interpreted at national and international levels. It then investigates the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in international human rights law. In this regard, this book deeply analyzes human rights law at both the international and regional level, examining UN, European, and Inter-American mechanisms.

In August 2005 the Chilean parliament passed a new recruitment law, after almost five years of discussion. However, the parliament failed to include any regulation for the right to conscientious objection in this new law.

The new law, which will come into force in 2007, introduces several changes. According to the law, registration for military service will be automatical. In January, the Civil Registry will pass on the data of all men who completed their 18th year to the military.

REPORT Nº 36/93

CASE 10.975
October 6, 1993


1. On January 22, 1992, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received the following petition:

Alejandro Piché Cuca, a Guatemalan citizen, left his home in Santa María de Jesús, Department of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, on April 27th, 1991 headed for the Catholic Church's Pastoral Training Center in Santa María de Jesús where he was taking instruction as a "catechist".

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