Alternative civilian service
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Alternative civilian service is a form of national service performed in lieu of conscription for various reasons, such as conscientious objection, inadequate health, or political reasons. See "labour battalion" for examples of the latter case. Alternative service usually involves some kind of labor.
Alternative civilian service is service to a government made as a civilian, particularly such service as an option for conscripted persons who are conscientious objectors and object to military service.
Civilian service is usually performed in the service of non-profit governmental bodies or other institutions. For example, in Germany (before conscription was abolished), those in civilian service worked extensively in healthcare facilities and retirement homes, while other countries have a wider variety of possible placements.
Common synonyms for the term are alternative service, civilian service, non-military service and substitute service.
History and Human Rights
The The Twenty Classes was a program used by the Turkish government during World War II to conscript the male non-Turkish minority population mainly consisting of Armenians, Greeks and Jews. The prevailing and widespread point of view on the matter was that, anticipating entry to World War II, Turkey gathered in advance all unreliable non-Turkish men regarded as a potential "fifth column".
Countries with thriving Mandatory Alternative Service Programmes
- Austria: Zivildienst since 1975
- Finland: Siviilipalvelus established in 1931
- Iran: Amrieh
- Israel: Sherut Leumi
- Russia: Alternative Civilian Service (Russian: альтернативная гражданская служба) since 2004
- Switzerland: Swiss Civilian Service since 1992
Countries that abolished Mandatory Alternative Services
- Germany: Zivildienst 1973 - 2011
- Italy: 1972 - 2005
- Norway: abolished Siviltjenesten in 2012
- Russian Empire: Forestry service (Russia)
- United States: Alternative Service Program, Civilian Public Service; Selective Service System
Voluntary Services as a Substitute to Mandatory Alternative Services
- American Friends Service Committee established in the United States during World War I
- Austrian Service Abroad instead of Zivildienst in Austria
- European Voluntary Service instead of mandatory civilian service Austria
- International Voluntary Service in the United Kingdom in 1939
- Voluntary ecological year as a substitute to alternative civilian service in Austria
- Voluntary social year instead of the mandatory Zivildienst in Austria
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