Alternative service
Alternative service is a form of national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 performed in lieu of conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 for various reasons, such as conscientious objection, inadequate health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...

, or political reasons. See "labour battalion
Labour battalion
Labour battalions have been a form of alternative service or unfree labour in various countries in lieu of or resembling regular military service...

" for examples of the latter case. Alternative service usually involves some kind of labor.

Lack of alternative service in Armenia in 2003-2004 was considered to violate freedom of religion by the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 in 2011.


  • Conscription in Germany
    Conscription in Germany
    Germany had conscription for male citizens between 1956 and 2011. On 22 November 2010, the German Minister of Defence proposed to the government to put conscription into abeyance on 1 July 2011...

  • Conscription in Greece
    Conscription in Greece
    As of 2009, Greece has mandatory military service of 9 months for men between the ages of 18 and 45. Citizens discharged from active service are normally placed in the Reserve and are subject to periodic recall of 1–10 days at irregular intervals.-Duration:Universal conscription was introduced in...

  • Conscription in the Republic of China
    Conscription in the Republic of China
    The Republic of China has maintained a policy of conscription for all qualified males of military age since 1949. Females from the outlying islands of Fuchien, which are geographically closest to mainland China, were also required to serve in a civil defense role, although this requirement has...

  • Alternative Service Program
    Alternative Service Program
    The Alternative Service Program is a form of alternative service for conscientious objectors in the United States within its Selective Service System.-Official definition:...

  • Selective Service System
    Selective Service System
    The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

     (United States)
  • Civilian Public Service
    Civilian Public Service
    The Civilian Public Service provided conscientious objectors in the United States an alternative to military service during World War II...

      (United States)
  • Forestry service (Russia)
    Forestry service (Russia)
    The forestry service was a form of alternative service offered to Russian Mennonites in lieu of military service in Russia from 1881 to 1918. At its peak during World War I, 7000 men served in forestry and agricultural pest control in South Russia...

  • Zivildienst
    Zivildienst is the civilian branch of the national service systems in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany as well Zivildienst was the alternative service to military service until suspension of conscription in 2011...

  • Siviilipalvelus
    Siviilipalvelus , or civiltjänst , is alternative service in Finland. Although it translates to civil service, the more accurate translation is compulsory community service. It is provided as an alternative to military service provided by article 127 of the Finnish Constitution for Conscientious...

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