Informe sobre el país: Zambia

Ultima revisión: 09 Ago 1998
09 Ago 1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

Zambia has no compulsory military service in the armed forces and has never had any since achieving independence. [3] [1]

Yet Zambia has another form of conscription, the Zambian National Service, which involves three months' military training. [2]

Zambian National Service

The Zambian National Service (ZNS) is aimed at resettling young people on the land and producing food, establishing small industrial enterprises, developing sports skills and helping in the defence of the country. Currently the emphasis is on agriculture. The ZNS lasts for two years and involves a three-month military training. [2]

It is not known whether participation in the ZNS is entirely voluntary at present.

From 1974 onwards, the military training has been compulsory for fifth form school leavers, university graduates and government officials. [2]


Apparently, recruitment into the armed forces is on a voluntary basis and participants in the ZNS are not considered to be members of the armed forces.

2 Conscientious objection

There is no known legal provision for conscientious objection.

Nevertheless, in 1965 the office of the President of Zambia stated: "As a member of the U.N. this Government accepts all the obligations that such membership involves. It is understood that this includes recognition of conscientious objection as a human right." [1]

3 Desertion

No information available.

5 History

Under British colonial rule Zambia had a volunteer defence force. Only during the Second World War all male British citizens were conscripted and a provision for conscientious objection was made. [1]

The ZNS originated in 1963 as the youth wing of the independence movement, known as the Land Army. After independence in 1964, the ZNS was established to train Zambian youth in agriculture and craft skills. Due to Zambia's position as a front line state in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, a military training component became part of the ZNS and in 1974 this military training became compulsory for fifth form school leavers, university graduates and government officials. [2]

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces comprise 21,600 troops - 0.23 percent of the population. [4]


[1] Prasad, D., T. Smythe 1968. Conscription: a world survey, compulsory military service and resistance to it. War Resisters' International, London. [2] Gouault, J. 1995. Service National, quelle options? Serie POUR Avec. GREP Editions/UNESCO, Paris. [3] UN Commission on Human Rights 1997. The question of conscientious objection to military service, report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1995/83. United Nations, Geneva. [4] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London, UK.