Member organizations

 

Belgium

Bulgaria

The Youth Society for Peace and Development of the Balkans (YSPDB) was created in 1998 as an informal alliance of NGO leaders. In the middle of 2001 it was officially registered as a non-governmental organization according to Bulgarian legislature. Its members are students, young people and citizens who work for:

  • Strengthening the stability on the Balkans and South East Europe;
  • Encouraging and promoting of the creative process in arts and sciences;
  • Encouraging and promoting the Bulgaria Cultural Heritage;
  • Creation of new practices of sustainable development;
  • Establishing of new models in the area of secondary, higher and civil education;
  • Improving the intercultural dialogue and overcoming of ethnic differences;
  • Respecting the human rights;
  • Improving the dialogue between NGOs and local and national authorities.
The means for achieving the above stated aims are: exchanges, forums and conferences, information exchange, voluntary service, education initiatives, endowment campaigns, educational seminars, publication and dissemination of materials, assistance and organization of campaigns, development of project policy of NGOs, urging for new legal initiatives needed by the society, creation and support of civil clubs and initiatives for cultural heritage preservation. Each member of the Society has at least three years of NGO leader experience as well as experience in project implementation related to the above mentioned activities-and that is a guarantee for its successful work. The Society has continuous contacts with more than 70 international organizations and more that 100 organizations in Bulgaria. The society works actively with the National Student Councils and with the most active Students organizations in Bulgaria and in South-East Europe.
 
Since the beginning of 2003 the Society is part of the youth information network Eurodesk, with opportunity to exchange information with European NGOs. Within Bulgaria the Society is a partner of information centers, youth and civil clubs and NGOs working throughout the country.
YSDB is a member and co-founder of Plovdiv Youth Municipality Council. The YSPDB’s secretary general Stefan Posliyski is a president of the Youth municipal Council – Plovdiv.
Since 2003, YSPDB is an associate member of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and representative of the same in Bulgaria. A representative of the organization – Veselin Iliev is an EBCO board member and its representative to the European Youth Forum.

Cyprus

The initiative works to support and solve the problems of all persons that see militarism as an obstacle in front of peace, democratization and establishment of a truly civilian administration. It further adopts the slogan "our duty for our homeland should be 'peace' and conscientious objection should be our right".

The initiative struggles for abolishing of laws that consider any anti-militarist stance as "alienating the public from military service" and therefore, illegal. There are no conditions that justify the right of conscientious objection -- which is a defence of life -- to be considered a subject of prosecution by the militarist establishment. It is also against the military court system which even the soldiers do not deserve, and works for its abolishing according to  the principle of a single rule of law.

It works to establish the right of conscientious objection in the constitution itself, as it is now considered a "basic human right" by the modern civilization. The compulsory military service in Cyprus should be re-organized according to the European Union norms and United Nations advisory decisions. We demand that the 74th article of the constitution of the administration of the northern part of Cyprus which defines compulsory military service as "a duty to the homeland" of all citizens is changed to include a clause to the effect that allows the right of conscientious objection. For clarity, we call it to be amended as indicated in bold (following the example of the constitution of Germany):

National Service: Article 74

(1)   National service in the armed forces shall be the right and sacred duty of every citizen. However, no person shall be compelled against his conscience to render military service involving the use of arms.
(2) Conditions relating to national service shall be regulated by law

The initiative does not accept violence as a means to solve any conflict; neither does it accept its promotion as such. It refuses compulsory military service in general.

The initiative supports all individuals who refuse military service regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, nationality or political views. It works against the male-dominated mentality and works to overcome the military establishment's inhumane stance towards the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). It works together with LGBT organizations and groups towards this goal.

  • It asks all individuals under arms who see their opponents as friends/brothers rather than enemies, to refuse the militarist orders as unacceptable and to "keep the guard of peace instead of the conflict". It embraces those individuals and calls them to join our ranks.
  • It sympathizes and supports the plight of thousands of individuals who could not, did not and will not be able to do military service. They are now considered as "deserters" and are punished to live a "civilian death" while the youthful, most productive part of their lives is stolen from them. It works to regain the rights of individuals who did not turn themselves in for military service and are therefore now in self-imposed exile.
  • It will organize activities to inform the public about the truth regarding the right of conscientious objection to overcome the present misinformation campaigns.

We call everyone to join "The Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus (north)" to face the reality of the system, the war and those in power to establish the right for conscientious objection.

This call is for everyone without any discrimination of gender. To all those who lost a piece of themselves by sending their children to wars in Cyprus, those young people who could not see a bright future due to the prospect of a military service, those in exile away from their homeland, in summary to everyone who suffered due to militarism.

This is a call to face all obstacles and to organize against wars, aggression, occupations and militarism in general.
 

France

Germany

Greece

sas_logo
Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors

DEMANDS REGARDING THE OLD CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AND INSUBORDINATE

  • To grant amnesty to the old COs (before the law 2510/1997 came into force, on 1/1/1998) and to suspend of all the administrative sanctions against them.
  • To stop the practice of the authorities to prosecute the COs continuously and repeatedly for the same in essence offence.
  • To stop judging civilian cases and cases of those who refuse the military status in military courts.
  • To depenalize the total refusal to serve military service. At first, to suspend the penal prosecutions and those of the administrative sanctions which break the fundamental political and civil rights.
  •  To decrease the age limit for military duty (45 years today) at least one decade.
  • To abolish the “in absentia” conviction for matters of insubordination in general.
  • To provide for buying off the service as provided for those enlisted and in proportion to the tax statement of the concerned person and depositing this money to a service different from the army.

2) DEMANDS REGARDING THE INSTITUTION OF THE ALTERNATE CIVILIAN SOCIAL SERVICE

  • The institution to be under a non-military supervisory authority.
  • The right to serve alternative service to be mentioned explicitly and analytically in the information documents about conscription.

2.2) DEMANDS REGARDING THE RECOGNITION OF THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS

  • The special advisory committee, also known as conscience control committee, to be abolished. All the applications for alternative service to be automatically accepted.
  • The right to conscientious objector status to be recognized at any time, before and after the enlistment in the armed forces.
  • The right to conscience objection to be recognized even during war or emergency situation.
  • All the “irrebuttable presumptions” to be abolished as well as the provision which denies the right to conscientious objection to individuals who are prosecuted for illegal violence - but not sentenced, because like this the presumption of innocence is violated. The unacceptable provision which denies the right to the conscientious objection to hunters and members of the rifle clubs to be abolished too.
  • The process of applying to be simplified. If some of the “irrebuttable presumptions” remain, certificates and documents not to be required since a personal legal statement is asked anyway.
  • The derogations to be abolished and replaced by a system of sanctions.

DEMANDS REGARDING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ALTERNATIVE CIVILIAN SERVICE

  • The duration of the alternative service to be equal with the duration of the military service so that it is not punitive and discriminatory.
  • The financial needs of the conscientious objectors to be really covered. Free food, accommodation and transportation or compensation equal to the basic salary of the unskilled worker.
  • Transfers:
  • a) The time away from the residence to be in proportion to this of the enlisted soldiers and then to be able to return. b) The unacceptable geographic restrictions which deny more than half of the population of the country, included residents of degraded urban areas, the services conscientious objectors could offer, to be abolished.
  • The prohibition of syndicalism and participation in a strike to be abolished.
  • The alternative service to be performed in non-governmental organizations and the conscientious objectors to be able to participate in humanitarian missions abroad.
     

Italy

mnvThe MN was found in 1962 by Aldo Capitini, philosopher and one of the first in Italy that study and promote the Gandhi’s nonviolence. The MN originated after the Perugia-Assisi march, an other Capitini’s idea: to refuse the war, thousands of people marched 30 kilometers from Perugia to Assisi ( cities of central Italy) in September of 1961( now this March there’s every two years).The aim was and is to reject the violence, at the individual or group level, from the social life. For this, MN thoroughly rejects the war, the economic exploitation, the system of oppression and all types of discriminations. Its means are: education, the use of persuasion, acts of protest, the civil disobedience and others.The MN is the Italian section of War Resisters’ International, have general office in Verona and many others office in all the country.

The Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII (APG23), founded by Father Oreste Benzi, is an international lay association of Pontifical Right in special consultative status with ECOSOC since 2006. The members of the Association share their lives directly with the socially excluded and most marginalised persons, committed to removing the causes of injustice, poverty and marginalization. The Association is headquartered in Italy but operates in 25 countries on five continents (Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe).
Worldwide, the Association has established 520 different centres, of which 298 are family homes, and runs several projects which aim to address the different needs of vulnerable people, includingcooperatives. In addition, the Association has a non-violent presence in in war zones with volunteers sharing life with people from both fronts, in order to guarantee the respect of human rights and to assist populations displaced by war.

In the family homes and first-aid shelters as well as in its cooperatives, the Association welcomes, among others, prisoners, adults and youth, offering them an alternative to imprisonment in agreement and cooperation with the criminal justice system. Since 2004, the Association has run also a specific home for prisoners sentenced either for crimes related to drug use or for other crimes, including homicide. As a consequence of its experience among and with incarcerated persons, the APG23 tries to promote innovative ways and approaches to re-educate and not just punish people who committed crimes, starting from the fundamental concept that “ a person is NOT his/her mistake” and as human beings, prisoners have inherent dignity and human rights that have to be protected, respected and fulfilled.

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Russia

calThe Human rights group “Citizen. Army. Law” was established in May 2010 by the leaders of the nationwide NGO Coalition for a Democratic Alternative Service, which since 2001 has worked to support the development of democratic alternative civil service, since 2003 has been implementing the all-Russian monitoring of human rights violations during the process of military conscription and military service.
In accordance with the Charter of the group, the main goal of the Group is carrying out the activities to protect the rights and legal interests of conscripts or conscientious objectors, those being in military service or alternative civil service, members of their families, as well as:
- realization and protection of civil, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms of the Russian citizens;
- assistance in joining together the efforts of citizens to realize and protect their common interests;
- assistance in creating developed civil society and democratic state governed by the rule of law, where the return of totalitarianism is impossible;
- assistance to governmental and local state bodies and mass-media in the activities providing the realization and protection of human and citizens’ rights and freedoms;
- development of awareness-raising and education in the sphere of human rights.
The human rights group was established by German Aletkin, Lev Levinson and Sergei Krivenko (Head of the Group).
 


cddhrThe Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights (CDDHR) was created in 1998 as an independent non-profit non-governmental organization in Russia. CDDHR’s mission is the development of effective democratic institutions and the creation of sustainable mechanisms for human rights protection in Russia by influencing public policy in these areas, creating conditions for civic participation in decision making from local communities to the international level and empowering individuals and groups to play a more influential role in the communities they belong to. CDDHR strives to make democracy work for people living in Russia and to assist them in finding in democracy a practical meaning relevant for their lives.


The Russian-wide NGO "Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia" was established in April 1989. The Soldiers’ Mothers’ Committee of Russia was registered as a Russian-wide public organization at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on June, 1st 1991.

 

Spain

Moviment per la Pau
 

Switzerland

zdZivildienst promotes civilian and social commitment. (After 33 years of commitment to, and the achieving of the recognition of conscientious objection in switzerland,  zivildienst.ch fusionend with the swiss umbrella association for alternative civilian service CIVIVA (www.civiva.ch) in March 2014. For support or counseling please contact www.civiva.ch)

  • Promotes and defends the right to conscientious objection and strives to achieve a voluntary civilian alternative service that is fair, honoured by the state and society and open to all inhabitants
  • Supports individuals in objecting military service

Areas of work are:

  •  Counselling individuals and organisations
  •  Political lobbying
  •  Legal action

Catagories are:

  •  Peace
  •  Human Rights
  •  Redistribution of public resources
  •  violent-free conflict transformation

civiva

CIVIVA was founded in 2010 in Bern (Switzerland) by community service friendly and pacifist organizations, as the Swiss Civilian Service Umbrella Federation.
CIVIVA strives to achieve a voluntary civilian alternative service that is fair, honoured and by the state and society and open to all inhabitants.
CIVIVA commits itself to the concerns of Conscientious Objectors (CO) performing obligatory civilian service (Zivis) and institutions benefitting from their services.
CIVIVA demands good conditions of access to civilian service for COs. In particular this means no specific examination or other barriers, but a free choice between civilian and military service.
CIVIVA demands fair conditions for Zivis: the same service duration as in military service, and fair wages. This ensures that Zivis are motivated and committedAreas of work are:

  •  
  • Focus of CIVIVA is public relations and lobbying in politics and the public administration
  • Influencing legislation to improve conditions for and during civilian service
  • Network institutions interested in or benefiting from civilian service

Categories are:

  • Human rights
  • Redistribution of public resources
  • Promoting social commitment by civilians

Turkey

VR-DER

Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) VİCDANİ RET DERNEĞİ www.vicdaniret.org

Söğütlüçeşme Caddesi No:76 Sevil İş Hanı Kat:5 Ofis:108 Kadıköy Tel/ Fax: (0216) 345 01 00 ,email: vicdaniretdernegi@gmail.com


 

Ukraine

  • Research group for conscription and human rights

 

United Kingdom

War Resisters' International (WRI) is an international anti-war organization with members and affiliates in over thirty countries. Its headquarters are in London, UK.
War Resisters' International was founded in Bilthoven, Netherlands in 1921 under the name "Paco". WRI adopted a founding declaration that has remained unchanged: “ War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war. ”
It adopted the broken rifle as its symbol in 1931.


CPTI is an international peace movement focussed on "Taxes for peace not war," seeking to direct taxes away from preparation for war and towards peace building. Its mission arises from the deep affront to our consciences that people are made to partici­pate in war as combatants, civilian victims and through taxation.
The ethical principle of freedom of conscience, a moral imperative governing the behaviour of an individual, is central to the objectives and work of CPTI.

  • CPTI aims to win recognition of the right to con­scientious objection to paying for armaments, war preparation and war conduct through taxes.
  • CPTI also supports the rights of conscientious objectors of all kinds and the worldwide recognition of human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

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