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.

Conscription has officially been re-introduced in Kuwait following the enforcement of the the new mandatory military service law approved by the cabinet in May 2015.

According to new law, which came into effect in April this year, all Kuwaiti men who turned 18 on 10th May 2017 and afterwards must register for conscription within 60 days of their new age.

When conscripted, they will serve 12 months divided in two phases – four months for training and eight months for military service.

During 2014, Spain made defence materials exports worth €3.203 million, whilst in total €3.666 million worth of exports were authorized. The value of the actual exports has decreased by 18% in comparison to that reached in 2013, from €3.907 million. Nonetheless, the tendency during the last 10 years has been a continued increase, as revealed in the following graph.

Spanish exports of defence material 2005-2014

In November, Qatar’s government approved a draft law making it compulsory for men to do military service for up to four months. This is the first instance of conscription in the state of Qatar. The four-month term would apply to Qatari men who have not attended school, college or university, and those who did attend but did not complete high school after reaching 21. Graduates will be conscripted for three months. No time frame for the introduction of compulsory military service has been given.

Back in March 2009 we reported that the Kuwaiti government was planning to reintroduce conscription in Kuwait, after it had been suspended in 2001 (see CO-Update No 45, February/March 2009). Back then we reported that a draft conscription law should be passed by parliament by the end of 2009. This did not happen. The discussion resurfaced in summer 2010 (see CO-Update 58, August 2010), and it seems now a new law reintroducing conscription will be enacted shortly.

The Kuwait Times reported on 15 July that Kuwaiti politicians and government officials are currently discussing the possibility of reintroducing a period of mandatory military service for male citizens aged between 21 and 30. Such a system would see all able-bodied men in this age group compelled to serve for one year with the Kuwaiti military, while it may also be made optional for women in the same age group.

Kuwait Times reported on 19 February that the authorities plan to
reinstate the conscription law by the end of 2009, after an eight-year
hiatus. The draft law will be reviewed by a high-level committee first
,after which it will be submitted to the National Assembly. Officials
said that young recruits will receive a monthly allowance, in addition
to their salaries. Those who study abroad, single-child (male) families
and diplomats will be exempted from service, reported Al-Waset.

27 July 2000


44. In order to implement article 18 of the Covenant, the State party should reflect in its legislation the situation of persons who believe that the use of armed force conflicts with their convictions, and establish for these cases an alternative civilian service.


Source: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs68.htm#69th


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1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription has existed ever since Kuwait achieved independence in 1961. Kuwait is, in fact, the only Persian Gulf State that has conscription.

Conscription is enshrined in arts. 47 and 158 of the Constitution, which describe national defence as a sacred and honourable duty regulated by law. [5]

The present legal basis of conscription is the 1980 Compulsory Service Act (Law 102/1980). [1]

military service

All men aged 18 to 30 are liable for military service.

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