International CO day

Table: Conscription and conscientious objection in the European Union

Country Conscription CO for conscripts CO for professional soldiers

15 May: International Day on Conscientious Objection

Since the 1980s, 15 May is celebrated as International Day on Conscientious Objection. Conscientious objection movements all over the world use 15 May to promote the right to conscientious objection, and conscientious objection as an antimilitarist action and perspective.

This year, War Resisters’ International wants to highlight the new challenges for conscientious objection as a result of a changing military landscape: the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers, and the need to counter military propaganda and military recruitment wherever they take place.

Counter-recruitment in the United States

With a seemingly endless war on terrorism gnawing away at the possibility for a lasting peace many activists in the United Sates are finding that they are drawn to a form of activism that deals with the relationship that young people have to militarism. The work is called, counter military recruitment or counter-recruitment for short, and it primary focus is to demilitarise a nation by attempting to first demilitarise the minds of its youth.

Recruitment elsewhere

How do armies outside Europe/North America recruit?

Although Europe and the United States might have their armies all over the world – and if not their armies, they surely use economical “cooperation” and development “aid” backed by their military force to maintain their political and economical influence – they are not the only countries with Armed Forces. In fact, most states in the world maintain Armed Forces. How then do other major military players recruit for their Armed Forces?


15 May is International Day on Conscientious Objection. This issue of The Broken Rifle introduces War Resisters’ International’s theme for CO day 2008: conscientious objection for professional soldiers and countering military recruitment. Both issues are closely related: with the trend to abolishing (or suspending) conscription, at least Western militaries increasingly rely on professional, “voluntary” soldiers.

Upcoming events: International Conscientious Objectors Day

15/05/08: International Conscientious Objection Day

15 May is International Conscientious Objection Day. This year the War Resisters' International's focus for the day will be on counter-recruitment and the right to consientious objection for professional soldiers.

Activities are being organised by several WRI affiliates and other organisations, not necessarily with the same thematical focus.

NHRCK Voices Opinion on Unconstitutionality of Reserve Forces Act

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea to submit an official opinion on the unconstitutionality of the Reserve Forces Act to the Constitutional Court.

War Resisters' International visits Colombia

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

War Resisters' International visited the Colombian cities of Medellin, Bogota, and Barrancabermeja in May 2007, to take part in the international activities for International Conscientious Objectors' Day, and to discuss the question of conscientious objection with a range of Colombian authorities and NGOs.

Upcoming events: International Conscientious Objectors' Day // WRI Seminar and Council

15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2007 will focus on the situation of conscientious objection in Colombia.

The programme includes the following:

International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2007 in Medellín: Programme

The programme includes the following are the following:

* An integration activity on the 11th of may between all international and national delegates
* An antimilitarist concert on the 12th of May
* A meeting of the National Assembly of CO and the international delegates the 13th and 14th of May to evaluate and programm the strategies of the international solidarity network and to prepare the nonviolent actions for the 15th of May.
* Nonviolent actions in various places of Medellín on the 15th of May

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