Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Serbia

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Serbia

During the Universal Periodic Review the question of arrangements for conscientious objectors to military service was raised by both the Russian Federation and Slovenia. Replying to the Russian Federation's question in the December 2008 Working Group, Serbia reported: “According to the Constitution, conscientious objectors could serve their military duty without the obligation to carry weapons. There were 1,730 institutions and organizations for civil service. The civil service lasted nine months and 49 per cent of conscripts had opted for it.
Slovenia made a number of specific recommendations:
that Serbia restore civilian control to decision-making in relation to applications for conscientious objection to military service, to extend the time limit for applications to be made, remove the exclusion of all those who have ever held a firearms licence from being recognized as conscientious objectors, and equalize the length of alternative and military service.” (

Serbia's response to these recommendations:
Certain proposals and recommendations of the Republic of Slovenia have already been incorporated into the Draft Law on Civilian Service, which is in parliamentary procedure. With the passage of that law, civil control regarding civilian service would be laid out in detail, so that the members of the Appeals Commission shall not be members of the Ministry of Defense, except for the Commission president. This will reduce the possibilities of abuse on the part of the First Instance Commissions and organizations or institutions, thereby ensuring total civil control over civilian service.”
“The equalization of military and civilian service is not possible, because a soldier serving armed military duty spends an uninter­rupted six months in his unit, while a person in civilian service spends eight hours in his assigned organization or institution, is free on weekends and has the right to regular and awarded leave. The proposal “to invalidate the exception of those who have held weapon permits from the right to conscientious objection” is in absolute collision with the arguments of the institution of conscientious objection and, thus, cannot be accepted.

Length/terms of service Not recognised
Discrimination Not recognised