Denmark

 

  Conscription:

Yes

Highly selective conscription: the number of voluntary conscripts is close to 100%.

  Conscientious objection:

1917

First recognised by Alternative Service Act, 13th Dec.

Service

 

Military:

4

Conscription can have a length of 4-12 months.

Civilian:

4

The length of the civilian service has to be equal to the length of the service. The length of the service normally varies from 4 months up to 12 months. Accordingly, the COs have different lengths of their service, but to most of them, the length of the service is 4 months.

Minimum age

 

Conscription:

18

 

Voluntary enlistment:

18

 

More 

https://ebco-beoc.org/denmark

According to the reply of the Danish Ministry of Defence Personnel Agency to the Questionnaire about EBCO’s Annual Report 2020 (e-mail on 22/12/2020):

In 2020 7 conscientious objectors have declared themselves; in 2019 it was 15. Typically in a year, there are 15-20 conscientious objectors. There have been no “total objectors” in 2020 or the last few years.

According to the reply of the Ministry of Defence of Denmark to the Questionnaire about EBCO’s Annual Report 2020 (e-mail on 13/01/2020):

The laws governing military recruitment is first and foremost the Constitutional Act of Denmark Article 81 which states that “Every male person able to bear arms is obligated, with his presence, to contribute, to the defence of his country under the rules laid down by statue.” Secondly it is law no 225 and 226 regarding conscription and Civilian Service (conscientious objectors).

Every male that turns 18 years has to attend the Defence Day and all women turning 18 years are invited to attend. A health check and a written test are made to decide if they are “able to bear arms”. The qualified males draw a lottery number which decide if they will be called up for military conscription at a later date.

Every year about 4.700 (1947 FTEs) conscripts are called for, and in 2019 99,8 % of these have volunteered for service. Conscription can have a length of 4-12 months. The proportion of conscripts of the armed forces is approx. 13 %.

The number of COs in the last few years is declining due to the fact that the number of voluntary conscripts in Denmark at the moment is close to 100 %.

Declared conscientious objectors: 17 in 2019, 13 in 2018, 15 in 2017, 32 in 2016, 26 in 2015, 37 in 2014, 50 in 2013, 74 in 2012, 99 in 2011, 187 in 2010, 287 in 2009, 302 in 2008, 304 in 2007, 494 in 2006, 726 in 2005, 478 in 2004, and 627 in 2003.

According to Law no. 226 of March 13 2006 regarding Civilian Service – article 1: “Conscripts for whom military service of any kind is regarded as incompatible with their conscience can be exempted from military service to be used for other government work. The government work may not serve military purposes.” In other words, CO-status is granted to a person, who objects to military service based on reasons of conscience. Objection based on religious or ethical reasons would be accepted. An application solely based on political issues would be refused. Application for CO-status must be sent in writing, stating the reasons for applying, i.e. the matter of the conscience. An application can be sent in before the conscript has received notice of military service, and the CO-status may be granted, but the length of the service cannot be stated until the final half-year distribution for the conscripts has taken place.

The civilian service begins with an introduction at the Administration of Conscientious Objectors in the Danish Ministry of Defence Personnel Agency (MDPA). During their service, the conscientious objectors work in one of the approx. 1.200 registered public and public supported institutions, peace movement organizations, church organisations, environmental movement organisations, etc., situated all over the country. With these public institutions the MDPA has made an arrangement about COs employment for various jobs. The COs can choose the sort of institution they find most suitable to their interest, geographical position etc. The institutions are situated all over the country, which makes it possible for most of the COs to do their national service near their domicile. The employment of the COs must not have any military purpose. The specific rules are provided by the Ministry of Defence, and the practical organization rest with MDPA. Examples of working places are institutions for children, young people and old people, institutions for mentally and physically disabled people, cultural institutions such as museums, theatres, libraries etc. Besides, it is possible to work in peace movement organizations, organizations connected with the U.N., church organizations and environmental movement organizations. It is a condition, however, that the CO works as extra labour, i.e. the COs may not be hired for vacant jobs and they may not be hired to work in functions demanding special skills. Furthermore they may not work in institutions, which they are in any way attached to, or where they previously have been employed.

The length of the civilian service/conscientious objection service (CO-service) has to be equal to the length of the service, from which the conscript is transferred. The length of the service normally varies from 4 months up to 12 months. Accordingly, the COs have different lengths of their service, but to most of them, the length of the service is 4 months.

If the CO fails to report to its civilian service when required, the CO receives a letter with a new date for reporting, and the prosecution authorities, contacted by the MDPA, get involved in order to issue a fine to the CO (first fine 1.500 kr., second fine 2.000 kr., third fine 2.500 kr. etc.) for not reporting. After a number of incidents the case can be looked upon as total denial of civilian service, which can lead to imprisonment for a period corresponding to the length of COs service.

In as many situations as possible the COs has the same rights during their service as other conscripts have. The COs have 37 hours working week during their service. Number and kind of days off are the same as the other conscripts have. They also have the same possibility of having their costs for medical and dental treatment payed by the authorities. And like all other conscripts the COs get free card for public transportation during their time in service, providing them unlimited travel on trains, buses, metro and harbour buses throughout the entire country.