November 2011

International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

Conscientious objection to military service is now clearly protected as a human right under international law, even if the term "conscientious objection" does not appear in the international human rights treaties per se.

This paper presents the analysis and findings of the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights as well as procedures of the Human Rights Council (Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief) that show how conscientious objection to military service is protected under international human rights law, particularly under the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.



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