Suspended in 2005 by law 226 of 2004

  Conscientious objection:


First recognised by Act No. 772/1972.













No conscription

Voluntary enlistment:




Universal Civilian Service

In 2016, the voluntary civilian service was renamed Universal Civilian Service (law No. 106 of 2016), but only in 2019 did the new arrangements come into effect. The main aspects are as follows:

  • The law explicitly recognises the civilian service as a means to serve your country in a civil, unarmed and nonviolent way.
  • An increase in the fields of activities where young people can perform it.
  • Eligible ages are 18 to 28 years old.

In 2020, in addition to the residues from the 2019 financial year, 139 million euros were provided for the Universal Civilian Service (in the Budget Law currently being examined by parliament), which would have enabled around 20,000 young people to carry out their service in 2021. Thanks to the role played by civilian service volunteers during the COVID19 emergency and the appeals to government from the civil society, with the approval in recent days of the "Relaunch Decree", the Universal Civilian Service funds for 2020 have been increased. A total 553 intervention programs of universal civilian service will be implemented, nationally and abroad, including the "Youth Guarantee" programme, with a total of 43,779 volunteers.

In particular, these programmes are:

  • 458 programs of Universal Civilian Service in Italy with a total of 39,622 volunteers;
  • 31 programs to be implemented abroad with a total of 605 volunteers;
  • 64 programs to be implemented in the regions involved in the "Youth Guarantee" programme for the employment of 3,552 volunteers.

The additional 200 million approved for 2021 and 2022, on the other hand, may make possible 50,000 vacancies per year, beginning to give concrete form to the objective of stabilizing the annual quota of Universal Civilian Service.

Update on “Another defence is possible” campaign

In 2014, six networks of NGOs (representing more than a hundred of Italian gross-root associations) that work on peace, nonviolence, disarmament and civil service, created the Italian campaign “Another defence is possible”. The campaign aims to create a Department for Non-Armed and Nonviolent Civil Defense at National political level.

The Italian budget of the defense sector is entirely absorbed by the costs of armed military defense. This campaign asked for the recognition of constitutional parity between military defense and civil defense. Without asking for further expenditure, it proposes a reduction in military spending for the benefit of more funding for civil defense. The draft law on a Department for Non-Armed and Nonviolent Civil Defense provides, in fact, that taxpaying citizens are offered the tax option, with the possibility of choosing whether to allocate their contribution to the funding of the Department.

In the year of its birth, the campaigners collected more than 53,000 signatures for the submission of a draft popular law to the Italian parliament. The following years have been dedicated to putting pressure for the approval of the law.

The law was not discussed by the end of the parliamentary term (2018). Therefore, in 2020 the Campaign resumed lobbying in the new legislature.

Birth of the “Italian peace and disarmament network”

On 21 September, International Day of Peace, the birth of the Italian Peace and Disarmament Network was announced. It is a new organized network in which the Peace Network (founded in 2014) and the Italian Disarmament Network (founded in 2004) converge. Both founding networks of this new body are organizations promoting the "Another defense is possible" campaign.

Moratorium for 2021 on all investment expenditure in armaments

In November 2020, Sbilanciamoci (Unbalance, NGOs network) and the Italian Peace and Disarmament Network advanced to all Italian political forces the proposal for a moratorium for 2021 on all Italian investment expenditure in armaments. The forecasts for these investments in armaments are equal to 6 billion of Euro and the NOGs claim that the amount has to be allocated in Healthcare and Education, in a moment like this of extreme necessity because of the COVID19 pandemic.