Saying No to War: Draft Resisters in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine

May 21st, 2023 - by Our House #ObjectWarCampaign

May 15: International Day of Conscientious Objection 

The International Campaign to Protect
Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian
Conscientious Objectors

Our House #ObjectWarCampaign

(May 15, 2023) — On September 21, 2022, the International Day of Peace, the International #ObjectWarCampaign was launched by the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), War Resisters’ International (WRI), European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), and Connection e.V. The campaign aims to demand protection for conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine who refuse to participate in the war in Ukraine. The Belarusian human rights center Our House has also joined the campaign.

The right to conscientious objection to military service is a human right inherent to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which focuses on freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as well as Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The launch of the #ObjectWarCampaign was preceded by an appeal to the highest institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe in June 2022, calling for the implementation of protective measures for individuals who refuse to participate in the war, similar to what was done during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

In September, the campaign further developed with the launch of an online petition in support of the appeal to the European institutions and individual states, urging them to ensure protection.

The online petition has gathered approximately 50,000 signatures and will conclude on May 15, the International Day of Conscientious Objection, with the submission of the signatures during a public event in Berlin and Brussels.

To commemorate the occasion, various initiatives are planned in several European countries.

Focus on the Situation in Belarus — an independent report by the Belarusian Human Rights Center Our House (regularly updated).

Focus on the Situation in Russia — an independent report by the “Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors” (regularly updated).

Focus on the Situation in Ukraine — an independent report by the “Ukrainian Pacifist Movement” (regularly updated).

You can also read the news from the Belarusian campaign No Means No, which aims to protect and support conscientious objectors in Belarus and provides updates on the situation within the Belarusian Army.

Let’s support our men in avoiding participation in war.

Kind regards,

Russian police detaining a pro-peace protester.