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United Nations

New report on conscientious objection from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights' Quadrennial Analytic Report on conscientious objection to military service is out, read it here.

WRI was one of the civil society organisation that submitted information to the OHCHR for the report, and it is referenced a number of times in the report.

Calling for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea

Published today: we're calling for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea.

We're glad to be amongst those working to keep the focus on the human rights situation in #Eritrea, where conscription is indefinite and militarisation "excessive" (according to Special Rapporteur Sheila B. Keetharuth).

The letter was initiated by Civicus.

Contribute to a new UN report on conscientious objection to military service

From the Quaker United Nations Office:

 The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a call for inputs on the issue of conscientious objection to military service (see attached file).

The compiled information will lead to a new UN report on the topic. The report will provide the most comprehensive outline

Conscientious Objection in International Law: an overview

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Rachel Brett (LLM in International Human rights Law) is a British Quaker based in Geneva, Switzerland, where she is an Adviser to the Quaker UN Office, having just retired as their Human Rights & Refugees Representative after 21 years during which she helped to gain recognition of conscientious objection to military service as a human right. She serves on the War Resisters' International Right to Refuse to Kill Committee. Here, she gives as an overview of conscientious objection in international law.

Explicit international recognition of a right to conscientiously object to military service is relatively new with only two regional human rights standards doing so: the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Ibero-American Youth Convention. However, older international and regional human rights treaties – specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Human Rights Convention – have been reinterpreted to include conscientious objection to military service, and various of the UN's human rights bodies and mechanisms have endorsed conscientious objection.

War profiteer of the month: Nevsun Resources

The United Nations has released a damning report into the operations of Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources in Eritrea, which accuses the company of using conscripted labour at it's Bisha Mine in the country. Nevsun estimated that the mine held over a billion pounds of copper and 2.7 billion pounds of zinc.

Zafar Abdullayev vs. Turkmenistán

Related peace activists: 

El Comité de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas ha llegado a la conclusión de que el estado de Turkmenistán ha violado el Artículo 7, el Artículo 10(1), y el Artículo 14(7) debido a que ha sido juzgado y condenado dos veces por su negativa a cumplir el servicio militar, y el Artículo 18(1).

7.2... El Comité observa que a la llegada del autor de la denuncia a la prisión LBK-12 el 3 de abril de 2012 fue objeto de malos tratos por los vigilantes de la cárcel, en violación del artículo 7 del Pacto. Observa que el autor ha aportado una descripción detallada de la forma en que fue maltratado mientras se hallaba en aislamiento, así como la identidad del organizador de sus malos tratos. El autor afirma que fue ubicado en el bloque de aislamiento de la prisión durante 10 días, fue golpeado, obligado a desfilar, hacer flexiones, correr y a sentarse en el suelo con las piernas estiradas. El Comité observa además que las detalladas alegaciones del autor y su argumentación en relación a la ausencia de mecanismos adecuados para la investigación de las denuncias de tortura en Turkmenistán no han sido refutadas por el Estado Parte. El Comité recuerda también que las denuncias de malos tratos deben ser investigadas inmediata e imparcialmente por las autoridades competentes.1 En ausencia de informaciones adicionales pertinentes en el expediente, el Comité decide que ha de concederse la debida credibilidad a las alegaciones del autor. En consecuencia, concluye que los hechos tal y como han sido presentados revelan una violación de los derechos del autor de acuerdo al artículo 7 del Pacto.

Guidelines on refugee status related to military service

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has issued guidelines on claims to refugee status related to military service. These Guidelines focus on individuals who seek international protection as refugees to avoid recruitment and service in State armed forces, including conscientious objectors, as well as forced recruitment by non-State armed groups. They provide guidance for governments, decision makers, lawyers and the judiciary as well as UNHCR staff.

New Book: Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Human Rights Law

Since the 1950s, the right to conscientious objection to military service in international human rights law has excited the interest of both non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations in a variety of contexts. This book examines the subject, beginning with an exploration of the concept of conscience and its evolution with a view toward understanding the meaning and potential scope of the right to conscientious objection from a legal perspective. It also describes the different categories into which conscientious objectors can be divided, explain the differences between these categories, and investigate how these differences are interpreted at national and international levels. It then investigates the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in international human rights law. In this regard, this book deeply analyzes human rights law at both the international and regional level, examining UN, European, and Inter-American mechanisms.

La Guía del Sistema Internacional de Derechos Humanos para Objetores de Conciencia

Hoy se ha presentado en Colombia la edición en lengua española de un recurso para ayudar a los objetores de conciencia a utilizar los mecanismos regionales e internacionales de derechos humanos, como parte de un foro sobre el derecho a la objeción de conciencia y el servicio militar obligatorio.

Army in Myanmar still recruiting children

Research from Child Soldiers International suggests that the Burmese military is still recruiting children, one year after the Myanmar government made a commitment to the United Nations to stop doing so. Whilst they did release 66 children from the military last month, many more remain. The Tatmadaw (the Myanmar Armed Forces) has continued to recruit since it signed the Joint Action Plan with the UN last year, although in lower numbers than those previously reported.

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