Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)


Chapter 10 of the Handbook deals with conscientious objection to military service in detail. It summarises the following best practices and recommendations:

• Information should be made available to all persons affected by military service about the right to conscientious objection to military service, and the means of acquiring conscientious-objector status;

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).

(18) The participating States

(18.1) note that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has recognized the right of everyone to have conscientious objections to military service;

(18.2) note recent measures taken by a number of participating States to permit exemption from compulsory military service on the basis of conscientious objections;

(18.3) note the activities of several non-governmental organisations on the question of conscientious objections to compulsory military service;

Subscribe to Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)