Creating identity cards as a form of 'virtual accompaniment' for human rights defenders

Overview

Tactical Aim: 
Country or Region: 
Organization: 
War Resisters' International (WRI)
Partner Organizations: 
ANOOC, the National Assembly of Conscientious Objectors in Colombia Related New Tactics Resources

The Objector Identity Card is a form of "virtual accompaniment" being practised by War Resisters' International (WRI) in cooperation with ANOOC, the National Assembly of Conscientious Objectors in Colombia.
Draft-age young men in Colombia are at risk of being picked up on the streets and carried off to military barracks. The Objector ID Card is issued by WRI and ANOOC to young people (both genders, although only males are conscripted) who have declared a conscientious objection to military service. It is a laminated card with the objector's photo, signed by the WRI coordinator, and quoting the UN Human Rights Commisson on CO and the Colombian constitution on Freedom of Conscience. The details of objectors holding this card are entered on a database held by WRI ready for an alert to be sent out worldwide if need be.


The card was introduced on 15 May - International Conscientious Objection Day - 2007, and in the first year has been issued to just 70 people who have all made public statements of their objection to military service. The idea is that the card should look official enough to give pause to a military recruiter. WRI and ANOOC have been in touch with other NGOs and bodies inside the country, plus various embassies and international bodies to explain the scheme.

 

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