Highly selective conscription (from the pool of around 60 000 less than 10 000 are chosen annually). Norway introduced compulsory military service for women in 2015, as the first NATO member state. There are no plans to suspend/abolish conscription in the near future.

Conscientious objection:


In 1922, Norway got an amendment to the Military Penal Code on exemption from military service, and with this recognised the right to conscientious objection to military service.





Conscripts are required to serve up to 19 months of military service, cf. the Norwegian Act relating to conscription and service in the Armed Forces, etc. (Lov om verneplikt og tjeneste i Forsvaret m.m. (forsvarsloven)), section 18. However, basic military service are usually 12 months.



Conscientious objectors get an exemption from service in the military. Moreover, there is no alternative civilian service for conscientious objectors (it was abolished in 2012). The process of application for conscientious objector status is described in Chapter 4, sections 36-42 of forsvarsloven. Applicants, who have had their applications approved, are granted exemption from serving in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Those who are approved may be ordered to serve in the Civil Defence (Sivilforsvaret) until the year they turn 55. They get a 3-week start up course, and then serve 2 days a year as training. If there is a crisis, they will be called in for service.





Norwegian citizens who are eligible for service in the military have conscription from the year they turn 19, cf. forsvarsloven section 6.

Voluntary enlistment:


There is also an extended conscription through voluntary service and training in the military, cf. forsvarsloven section 12. The provision covers those who voluntarily apply to serve or train in the military. The minimum age for voluntary enlistment is 18 years old. Those who receive training are, for example, vocational apprentices.

From the age of 16 people may be admitted to the Home Guard, cf. forsvarsloven section 24. This currently applies to young people who are admitted to the Home Guard Youth. They may not enter into a contract that entails a duty to serve in the Home Guard until they have turned 19 years of age. In accordance with section 4 of forsvarsloven those under the age of 18 who serve in the military (the Home Guard Youth) shall not be given training in or participate in combat-related activities.

When Norway is at war, in the case of imminent threat of war, or the order for general mobilization is given, those under the age of 18 are immediately released from service.

If professional military personnel become conscientious objectors during their service, and thus wish to end their service contract, they are free to terminate their contract based on the regular rules of contract law and labour law.

More including the reply of the Parliamentary Ombud to the Questionnaire about EBCO’s Annual Report 2022 (e-mail on 06/02/2023).