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Even before the present stand-off between Colombia on one side and Venezuela and Ecuador on the other side following Colombia's alleged incursion into Ecuadorian territory, the Colombian military increased its recruitment efforts. The present tension (see the statement of Latin American antimilitarists and conscientious objectors) will certainly not have a positive impact on the efforts of conscientious objectors in Colombia to claim their right.

This issue is longer than usual, and we cover extensively conclusion of the European Committee on Social Rights on the length of substitute service (see below). An article in a Turkish military journal, dating back to 2006, reveals the mindset of the Turkish military when it comes to the issue of conscientious objection - and their 'solution' to the problem: ban those who promote the right to conscientious objection. However, we know from the experience in many other countries that the right to conscientious objection cannot be denied indefinitely.

Andreas Speck

Veröffentlicht in CO-Update, March 2008, No. 37