2018 EBCO: Annual Report

EBCO / KDV, May 2019

Annual Report
Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Europe 2018

Foreword by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President

2018 has been a paradoxical year for the world's conscientious objection and antimilitarist movements. With the release from prison of all but 13 conscientious objectors in SouthKorea , the global total of imprisonments, which for decades has been in the hundreds, has shrunk considerably. As to the situation in South Korea, it is not sure if the landmark decisions of the Constitutional and Supreme Court will strengthen the right to conscientious objection in practice. According to a draft law presented in December the government plans an extremely discriminatory alternative service to be performed in detention centers. The sudden peace with Ethiopia means that Eritrea , the world's most egregious persecutor of conscientious objectors now lacks whatever excuse it ever had, although sadly there has not yet been any sign of change on the ground. Yet in Europe refugee tribunals continue to send conscientious objectors back to countries where they face conscription, if not worse. And not only populists continue to argue for a return of conscription at home.