The conscientious objection is a personal act of refusal to achieve certain acts going against religious, moral or ethical requirements dictated by its Conscience. Certain objectors regard themselves as Pacifistes or antimilitarists.
Often, the conscientious objector refuses the Conscription, the call to the Military service obligatory. Sometimes the objectors refuse to discharge on behalf of the taxes which contributes to the National defense. Since the beginning of the years 2000 one sees appearing the copied expression the objectors of growth .
When the legislation of a country authorizes the conscientious objectors to carry out a alternative Service with the army, one speaks in general about Civil service.
Objection with the war and its preparation
HistoryAugust 1st In Germany Nazi, during the Second world war, the conscientious objectors were condemned to died.
With the the United States, during the same war, approximately 43 000 soldiers refused to fight. 6 000 of them were imprisoned, thus accounting for 1 internee out of 6 of the federal prisons for this period.
The motivations of the conscientious objectors are multiple. The decision to object is often the result of a combination of factors.
- Refusal to subject itself to the Authority . For certain objectors, the tender with the orders cannot be absolute. The injunctions of a police officer, a judge or an officer must be confronted with the personal convictions. Examples:
- Anarchistic S,
- Leon Tolstoï, by certain aspects.
- Religion . The values transmitted by a religion are often regarded as stronger than those of the State. Their interpretation pushes some to refuse the participation in the war, while others fight and die for their faith. Examples:
- Pilot of Jéhovah,
- the Mennonite S and the Quaker S,
- first Christians who refused to take part in the war.
- Pacifism . The objector is persuaded that the conflicts are solved in a way righter with peaceful means like the negotiation and the diplomacy that with the average warriors. Peace cannot be reached with average violent ones. Examples:
- Romain Roland which sought peace “Above the fray” during and after the First World War,
- Albert Einstein which supported the conscientious objectors initially, before retracting.
- Political . The context in which a conflict develops can lead some to refuse to take part in the armed forces. Examples:
- the Israeli Refuznik S,
- before and during the First World War, a current internationalist encouraged many Socialiste S to refuse to take part in it (see the Conférence of Zimmerwald).
FormsThe objection can be expressed at different stages from an individual course, or evolution of a political situation.
the objection to grade . It is the case of a private who refuses to be in the situation to have to give orders. In Switzerland, the soldier pointed to grade is returned in front of the military Tribunal for refusal to serve if it is not subjected.
- the objection with the combatant service . Or refusal to be useful in the combat units. Sometimes the military administration agrees to place the objectors like soldiers not armed in the medical troops or with the train.
- the objection with the conscription . It is the refusal to serve running, sometimes named more refusal of the call . The majority of the countries propose a alternative service with the military service, generally called Civil service. This alternative appears in certain international treaties.
- the objection with enrôlement the . Recruitment is not possible that if the authorities have lists of citizens in age to fight. In England, the organization created at the end of 1914 joins together quickly nearly 10 ' 000 members.
- the objection with the alternative service . The total objectors or unsubdued refuse also the alternative service, or civil service , because it still depends on the State. In German . That can be the case of the Anarchiste S and the Témoins of Jéhovah.
- the objection with the imprisonment . Certain objectors refused the sorrow of Prison to which they had been condemned. Either to make an action symbolic system being able to be relayed by the media, or while hiding or expatriant themselves.
- the objection with a particular war or selective objection . For the objector it is not a Guerre right, or he sees a war of aggression where its government claims to carry out a defensive war.
- the objection with the military taxes (). In all the countries having an army, part of the taxes is devoted to him. Individuals then refuse to pay whole or part of these taxes. Associations are born, for example in England in 1906-1918 the , today with the Canada Our taxes for peace , with the the United States the .
- the objection with the effort of war . I.e. to refuse to put its force of work at the service of the war.
- the objection with the exercise of obscuration in Switzerland (imposed by the authorities to avoid the bombardments of the cities). Refusal chosen by Pierre Ceresole in 1938 because One should not any more call upon the fear to justify our effort towards peace .
Sometimes the objectors gather:
the collective objection gives a political dimension to the refusal. The support of the public opinion is required. It is the case particularly for the objection with the military taxes.
In the world
Léo Campion and Marcel God is the first to have refused the conscription in 1933. Jean Van Lierde opened the way with the legal recognition of the conscientious objection by declaring its objection in 1949. Its declaration of the October 3rd 1951 in front of the Conseil of war is published under the title " Why I refuse to be soldat" (published in 1956 by International of resistant to the war - IRG). Jean Van Lierde was imprisoned and consigned his reflections of this time in " Books of prison of Jean Van Lierde 1949-1952".
It is necessary to wait on December 30th 1955 so that the Ministers for Justice and the Interior seize the government of a project of statute. The Minister for National defense makes the decision then to drive out army the objectors after 18 months of prison, by depriving them of their electoral rights.
Of 1949 with 1961, in Belgium, 600 conscientious objectors add up more than 1000 years of prison. Many pacifist movements support the objectors, of which IRG-WRI, the international Mouvement of the reconciliation (MIR - IFOR) animated by Pasteur objector who saw himself refusing for this reason the dedication by his reformed Church of France and which was collected by the Christian Church Belgian missionary, the Pax Committee of coordination for world peace, the League of the Citoyens of the world, the international Voluntary civil service (SCI), the Young socialist guards who, without stopping, fight since 1950 for the legal recognition of the conscientious objection and who adopt in March 1960 asking a resolution suppression of the obligatory military service and consider the removal of the army, etc
As of on June 21st, 1961, on a proposal from the representatives of the objectors, whose Jean Van Lierde, at the time of the belgo-Congolese Roundtable in Brussels of January 1960, the law on the militia is modified, amendment which makes it possible certain young people (only those which hold the necessary diploma) to carry out a civil service during three years, without being likely to be condemned for conscientious objection. As of September, the requests flow to the Minister of Interior Department. This service type in the co-operation and the development, always into force, then is currently limited to certain professions: teachers, engineers technicians, doctors, pharmacists, biologists, dentists, social workers, radio-technicians and bachelors in sciences polished ticks and administrative applied to the countries in the process of development.
In May 1963, three priests, following the example Swiss step in of Pierre Annen and Arthur Villard, refuses a military recall of a few weeks, by solidarity with tens of imprisoned objectors. This “business” had in Belgium a great repercussion.
Finally, the statute will be adopted by the Sénat in June 1963 and by the Chambre of the representatives in May 1964, in spite of the pressures exerted by patriotic associations and war veterans, aiming to prevent or delay the vote. This dedication thus took place after fourteen years of fight and the deposit of several proposals and bills. For comparison, in Switzerland, the same postulate was deposited for the first time at the beginning of the past century.
The law of 1964, the purpose of which is principal to put an end to the scandal imprisonments of objectors, is restrictive. The objectors are assigned to Civil protection or the military service not armed, with the problems which one imagines (assignments with the nuclear network of alarm or the meetings of the Air force, punishments, drudgeries). The political reasons are not recognized. The law does not authorize to proclaim objectors those which became it after or during their military service. Three years after its adoption, the objectors put themselves in strike, movement which will hasten the adoption of the first important modifications of the statute.
Among the other innovations which the law of January 22nd 1969 brought (access to the exemption for service with the co-operation, possibility of obtaining the statute after the military service but before the first recall, introduction of prohibitions to exert a trade in connection with the use, the port, the manufacture or the sale of the weapons and ammunition), it is the experimental institution of “the assignment to tasks of public utility” which the most deeply transformed statute of the conscientious objectors. Five years later, the objectors who want to remain with Civil protection are nothing any more but one minority.
In 1974, the objectors denounce a circular of the Minister of Interior Department limiting to them Freedom of expression: any interview or very speech in public relating to the statute is subordinated to its authorization. Jean Van Lierde intervenes vigorously, but this circular will be repealed only in 1977.
The period of 1975 with 1984 sees a constant mobilization of the objectors who try to improve their conditions material; they are supposed food of the same balance as the militiamans and an allowance of food calculated with just. But it is however during this decade that they are affirmed like an essential component of the social life: public agencies, educational establishments official and free, institutions of care, foundations in any kind are made approve for the assignment of objectors - and dispute them.
The law of July 3rd 1975 brings various positive reforms: in particular, the motivation of the request for statute is released from the narrow categories (reasons of religious order, philosophical or moral) of the law of 1964 which had put certain applicants in difficulty. The objector can from now on choose between four service types:
military service not armed (even lasted that military service);
- civil service with the PC (once and half duration of SM);
- civil service in organizations of health care or assistance to the elderly or handicapped (idem);
- civil service in sociocultural organizations (twice duration of SM).
And Jean Van Lierde to stress that this law “ mark really a decisive turn for all the pacifist ones and the organizations antimilitarists. It is even probable that it will generate the concretization of an old project aiming to the regular formation with the nonviolent civil resistance of all the objectors in service, and others! ”
From June 1964 at December 1993, 31 ' 010 Belgians - all confused categories - were made recognize conscientious objectors, under the terms of the statute that the pioneers as Jean Van Lierde had finally torn off. In 1984, 70% of the objectors carried out their service in the sociocultural sector, 25% in the sector of the health care and 5% for Civil protection. The statute will know one period of regression as from 1985, followed by a standardization since 1989, after the arrival with the businesses of a new Cabinet. Always handicapped by their precarious conditions, the objectors achieve their civil service in the organizations which count on them always more. They are integrated in the company.
The constant attitude of the successive governments consisted in containing their number and their influence within limits such as the quota of the army was not threatened. The permanent instrument of this policy was the unreasonable duration of the civil service.
As of 1994, the Belgium does not have any more a Conscription. The suspension of the statute clarified that the quality of conscientious objector continued to take effect in the life of the interested party. The most known aspect is that of professional prohibitions: become worker, the objector had the duty, but also the right, to refuse contrary activities upon his engagement.
The installation of a legal statute of the objection was preceded by a long fight (with in particular the Hunger strike of the old anarchistic militant Louis Lecoin). A statute was finally adopted in December 1963.
The duration of the active civil national service of the conscientious objectors was always twice longer than that of the military national service, whatever the successive modifications of the duration of the latter, and this since the first statute (law n° 63-1255 of the December 21st 1963) of the conscientious objectors: 32 months and 16 month, then 24 months and 12 months, finally 20 months and 10 months.
The objectors were affected to the Regional management of the sanitary affairs and social (DRASS), to National Forestry Commission or in associations according to the time.
Today, the statute of conscientious objector disappeared at the same time as the obligatory national service (according to the Loi 97-1019 of the November 8th 1997 and the suspension of the national service in 2001). It made it possible to carry out the national service apart from the army.
; Limitations Article 11 of the law of 1963 prohibited whoever from making known this law under penalty of serious penal sanctions. Seized on several occasions because of null axiom the “the law” the Constitutional council is not supposed to be unaware of did not correct this misconception. However there were few continuations in the facts, because paradoxically this kind of legal action generated media repercussions not very favourable with the discretion desired by the legislator.
Article 12 as for him laid down the intervention of a decree to prohibit the access of the objectors to certain employment; this decree is never appeared.
The law n° 71-424 of the June 10th 1971, creating the Code of the national service, provided that the duration of their national service would not be taken into account in the seniority of the public office, for their advance, and their retirement. This specific discrimination perdure since the law n° 83-605 of the July 8th 1983, modifying the Code of the national service and relative in particular to the new statute of the conscientious objectors, removed it only for the only civils servant having achieved their national service as from the July 10th 1983 (absence of retroactivity). This discrimination towards the civils servant however was corrected by the Council of State in its decision n° 278041 of May 10th, 2006 (returned in cassation).
This discrimination does not exist any more in the private sector where the duration of the national service of the conscientious objectors, whatever his date of achievement, is taken into account in the seniority and the retirement of the general scheme of paid for all the retirements liquidated starting from January 1st, 2002.
See also: Voluntary civil service (France)
See also: Civil service (Swiss)
The general obligation to be useful appears with the first Swiss Constitution of 1798. At the end of 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, the mennonites and the anabaptists refuse to achieve a combatant service. The cantons adopt various attitudes. Sometimes these religious objectors can provide a substitute, or be useful in the sanitary services or of the train, or as chaplain. Some are condemned to drudgeries, the fine, disciplinary sorrows, the reclusion or the banishment. The exclusion of the territory is the rule in several cantons which do not recognize these sects.
The Military service consists of a basic training ( school of recruits , 4 months) followed recalls of two or three weeks each year ( course of repetition ), then of inspections and obligatory shootings . The men who do not carry out these periods of military service are compelled with the payment of a military tax (Income tax). Obtaining a statute of Civil service in Switzerland east come following several campaigns. Lobbies made petitions and popular initiatives (Référendum proposing a modification of the federal Constitution).
In 1903, the socialist antimilitarist Charles Naine objects after having made his school of recruits and three courses of repetitions. He is based on Christian teaching, but gives a political dimension to his act: the text of its pleading is diffused with: 20000 specimens. Following the judgment of Dwarf, Pasteur Paul Pettavel addresses a first petition to the federal authorities, requesting the introduction of alternatives for the objectors the service or the tax soldiers. In 1915, the Vaud ois John Baudraz is condemned to several months of prison and loses its situation (schoolmaster) to have refused to achieve its military duties because of its Christian ideal. Pierre Ceresole, itself in the search of a coherence between its convictions and its acts, is impressed by the objection of Baudraz; he refuses into 1917 to pay the military tax and is condemned to the prison. Pierre Ceresole founds in 1920 the international Civil service like voluntary alternative to the combatant service. Several conscientious objectors are condemned in 1932.
The Swiss law distinguishes the conscientious objectors , the refractory and the deserters (the latter only in time of war). Those which can show in front of the military tribunal them serious conflict of conscience are recognized like conscientious objectors and have a sorrow limited to 6 months of prison, for the refractory the maximum sentence is 3 years. In the years 1960 to 1990, they are each year several hundreds of objectors who are condemned to custodial sentences, one duration from 3 to 18 months in general for those which refuse already at the time of the school of recruits. Some refuse, like Charles Naine, after having carried out several periods of military service, their sorrow is then reduced. The exclusion of the army is not automatic, it is pronounced by the court like belonging to the sorrow. If the objector does not show his determination, it is likely to be condemned to a suspended sentence and without exlusion of the army.
The federal popular initiative for an authentic civil service based on the proof by the act , launched in 1977, is rejected by the people in 1984 by 64 % of the voters. In 1978, Rene B. is in the center of a refusal campaign of the prison ( total objection ).
In 1992, the federal stopped on the introduction of a civil service for the conscientious objectors is accepted in popular voting (82 % of yes). The law of application between in force in 1996.
Objection in nonmilitary fieldsPeople and movements are defined as conscientious objectors or call with the conscientious objection in fields other than the war.
the objectors of growth preach the bearable Décroissance.
- Refusal to pay the obligatory health insurance in Switzerland. Since 2001, a movement was born against what is felt like inadequate policy options and an absence of respect of the life. Some are grouped under the banner Our health it is our business .
- Refusal to take the Pill of the following day. The pontifical Académie for the life invites in 2000 in an official statement to make act of moral conscientious objection against this form of aggression with regard to the human Embryon.
- Refusal to accept some In particular Employment S. for a Unemployed, it can have an obligation there to take a suitable employment in a field or a company whose objectives are contrary with its values.
- Civil service
- civil Disobedience
- Yesh Gvul
- Zivildienst, civil service in Germany
- the conscientious objection and civil service of the objectors through the International Civil service and the Coordination committee for the Civil service (1963-1976), Master's paper of Governed Forgeot at the University of Paris VIII Vincennes Saint-Denis, June 2004
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