Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Russian Federation

Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Russian Federation

23. While welcoming the reduction by half, in 2008, of the prescribed length of civilian service for conscientious objectors from 42 months to 21 months, the Committee notes with concern that it is still 1.75 times longer than military service, and that the State party maintains the position that the discrimination suffered by conscientious objectors is due to such alternative service being a “preferential treatment” (para. 151, CCPR/C/RUS/6). The Committee notes with regret that the conditions of service for alternative service are punitive in nature, including the requirement to perform such services outside places of permanent residence, the receipt of low salaries, which are below the subsistence level for those who are assigned to work in social organisations, and the restrictions in freedom of movement for the persons concerned. The Committee is also concerned that the assessment of applications, carried out by a draft panel for such service, is under the control of the Ministry of Defence. (arts. 18, 19, 21, 22 and 25)

The State party should recognize fully the right to conscientious objection, and ensure that the length and the nature of this alternative to military service does not have a punitive character. The State party should also consider placing the assessment of applications for conscientious objector status entirely under the control of civilian authorities.

Recognition of CO Recognised
Length/terms of service Recognised