Substitute Service 

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Northern Cyprus: Assembly to Debate Draft Bill on Conscription

(08.01.2019) Following the case of conscientious objector Halil Karapaşaoğlu, who has been fined for refusing to present himself for military service, a draft bill concerning amendments to military law is being presented to the TRNC Assembly for debate. The new law provides for two options for Turkish Cypriots who do not want to serve in the armed forces: to provide a civil service in the army according to their capabilities, professional skills and educational background, or to be employed by the armed forces in public institutions for the public interest.

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In front of the South Korean embassy in Berlin

South Korea: Government plans tougher regulations against conscientious objectors

Urgent Action

(17.12.2018) On 13 December 2018, another hearing was held in Seoul, South Korea, on a legislative amendment proposing a so-called alternative service for conscientious objectors. As it turns out, the government does, in fact, provide for stricter regulations that have conscientious objectors serve and live exclusively in detention centers for a period nearly twice as long, viz. 36 months.

US base on the island Jeju

South Korea: Government considers 36 months in correctional facilities for alternative service

(15.11.2018) The South Korean government is seeking to impose 36 months of work in correctional facilities for those seeking alternatives to military service after the country’s top court recognized conscientious objection as a valid reason for rejecting mandatory military service.

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South Korea: Statement to the Ruling of the Constitution Court

Welcoming the Decision Recognizing Conscientious Objection

(28.06.2018) Today, the Constitutional Court of Republic of Korea ruled that Article 5(1) of the Military Service Act (hereafter "MSA") does not conform with the Constitution of Republic of Korea as it fails to provide alternative service for conscientious objectors as a type of military service, while setting a time limit for the continued application of the provision until December 31th, 2019. The Court's decision against the legislative inaction implies that it is unconstitutional to not enact relevant law required by the Constitution. In today's decision, the Court recognized conscientious objection as the exercise of the right to "freedom of conscience" which is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution and pointed out that Article 5(1) of the MSA is unconstitutional on account that it did not offer an alternative service for conscientious objectors who have been subjected to criminalization.