Call to action for the International Day of Conscientious Objection (May 15)

Conscientious objection is a human right. Conscientious objectors to military service need asylum

(08.04.2024) War is a crime against humanity.

Wars are currently being waged in various countries, at the expense of the respective populations, with thousands of deaths and widespread destruction. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is now in its third year. Israel has been waging a war in Gaza since the Hamas attack. Turkey is repeatedly deploying military forces in neighbouring states in the Kurdish regions. The situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains tense. In Sudan, Yemen and Myanmar, there are wars that are in no way inferior to the aforementioned wars in terms of the number of victims and cruelty, but which receive less public attention.

In all these countries, there are people who refuse to go to war. They do not want to kill other people and do not want to die in this war. Soldiers on the front line want to lay down their weapons in the face of horror. They all face repression and prison sentences for doing so. But: conscientious objection is an internationally recognised human right!

We see conscientious objection as an important building block in overcoming war, death and destruction. We demand full respect for the human right to conscientious objection, especially in times of war. We demand protection and asylum for persecuted conscientious objectors and opponents of war.

We demand from governments worldwide: Stop the persecution of conscientious objectors and deserters immediately! Release imprisoned opponents of war. Recognise the inalienable human right to conscientious objection!

We demand from the European Union member states: Open the borders! Give opponents of war the opportunity to enter the European Union! Protect conscientious objectors and deserters and give them asylum!

To this end, we are organising rallies and demonstrations in front of government institutions of warring states, vigils in front of monuments to deserters and other creative actions at various locations during the week of 15 May, the “International Day of Conscientious Objection” – from 13 to 19 May 2024. We emphasise: Conscientious objection is a human right!

One focus of our week of action this year will be the #ObjectWarCampaign, with actions for all those who have refused to take part in the war in Ukraine, regardless of which side they are on. We demand protection and asylum for thousands of people who refuse to serve on either side of the war.

Another focus will be to support Israeli conscientious objectors, such as Sofia Orr, who went to prison for her decision: “I choose to refuse because there is no military solution to a political problem. And now, with the war that has become more apparent than ever. And so my refusal is more important to me than ever.”  

We are concerned about the political demands to make the European Union “fit for war” and to introduce compulsory military service or general conscription in different countries.

Who we are

We are an alliance of civil society organisations and stand in solidarity with all people who oppose war. We invite all people who want to stand up against war and armament! There is no place at our actions for people and groups from the nationalist and anti-democratic spectrum. Please inform us about planned actions at

Initiated by: act for transformation; Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden (AGDF); Arbeitskreis Asyl Tribsees; Arbeitskreis Internationalismus der IG Metall Berlin; Bund für Soziale Verteidigung; Bundesvereinigung Opfer der NS-Militärjustiz e.V.; Connection e.V.; Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK); Die Grüne Alternative e.V.; Ev. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerung und Frieden (EAK); Flüchtlingsrat Baden-Württemberg e.V.; Flüchtlingsrat Hessen e.V.; Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen e.V.; Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig Holstein e.V.; Forum gewerkschaftliche Linke Berlin; Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V.; Friedensbüro Salzburg; Friedensinitiative Nottuln e.V.; Graswurzelrevolution – Monatszeitung für ein gewaltlose, herrschaftsfreie Gesellschaft; Initiative Solidarität mit Pazifist*innen aus Osteuropa; Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner*innen (IDK); International Peace Bureau (IPB); Internationaler Versöhnungsbund – Deutsche Sektion e.V.; IPPNW – Ärzt*innen für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges / Ärzt*innen in sozialer Verantwortung e.V.; Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie; Kooperation für den Frieden; Lebenshaus Schwäbische Alb – Gemeinschaft für soziale Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Ökologie e.V.; NaturFreunde Deutschlands e.V.; Netzwerk Friedenssteuer; Netzwerk Friedenskooperative; pax christi – Deutsche Sektion e.V.; Schweizerischer Zivildienstverband CIVIVA; Steirische Friedensplattform; TamieH – ZukunftsWerk Fliegerhorst Crailsheim; (April 2, 2024)