1 September 1992

Doc. 6654

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

on the rights of conscripts

presented by Mr REHN and others


1.       European defence is in many of the Council of Europe member countries based on national military service; in other words, soldiers are conscripts, not professionals. The recent trend towards stronger unification of Europe should be taken into account when considering the situation of conscripts.

2.       In democratic nations, such as the Council of Europe member states, we should recognise that conscripts are citizens in uniform. Therefore, these young men and women should enjoy the same standard of human rights as ordinary citizens. However this is not a reality today in many of the member states of the Council of Europe.

3.       Consequently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considers that action should be taken urgently to incorporate the rights of conscripts in the European Social Charter. The "European Social Charter for Conscripts" published by the European Conference of Conscripts Organisations in September 1991 is a useful statement of these rights.

4.       Any definition of the rights of conscripts should include:

-       the right to life, liberty and respect for physical and moral integrity;

-       the right of peaceful assembly and association;

-       recognition that conscripts are citizens and workers in uniform and therefore must have corresponding social rights;

-       recognition that since compulsory military service is employment conscripts must be sufficiently compensated; in other words their compensation must be no less than the minimum wages and allowances in society;

-       the same working conditions in peace-time as the rest of the working population.

Signed:       REHN, COLUMBERG, RYYNÄNEN, G. BJARNASON, HACKLIN,

      SZENT-IVANYI, HALONEN, LAAKSO, ANTTILA, GRANSTEDT.