About EBCO

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) was founded in 1979 as an umbrella organisation for national associations of conscientious objectors, with the aim of promoting collective campaigns for the release of the imprisoned conscientious objectors and lobbying the European governments and institutions for the full recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service.

EBCO promotes:

  • the right to conscientious objection to preparations for, and participation in, war and any other type of military activity as a fundamental human right, on both a national and an international level, at the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and other international bodies,
  • the right to asylum for conscientious objectors of any gender or sexual orientation coming from countries that do not recognise or that insufficiently recognise their rights in countries having signed the European Convention on Human Rights,
  • the signature and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict,
  • the end of conscription, social spending instead of military spending, peace, conflict prevention and conflict resolution, non-violence, antimilitarism, antidiscrimination, human rights and youth rights.


  • is involved in drawing up the annual report of the Committee on Civil Liberties of the European Parliament on the application by the Member States of its resolutions on conscientious objection and civilian service, as determined in the “Bandrés Molet & Bindi Resolution” of 1994,
  • provides expertise and legal opinions on behalf of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe,
  • enjoys participatory status with the Council of Europe since 1998 and is a member of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe since 2005,
  • is entitled to lodge collective complaints concerning the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe since 2021,
  • is a full member of the European Youth Forum since 1995.

EBCO's recommendations to all European States:

  1. if they have not already done so, to abolish all compulsory military service, and meanwhile refrain from prosecuting or otherwise harassing conscientious objectors, with no further action required from such persons; or - secondly – providing a non-punitive and non-discriminatory alternative service of purely civilian nature;
  2. to legally recognise the right to conscientious objection to military service and ensure that it is possible for all conscientious objectors to avoid enlistment in the armed forces and for all serving members of the armed forces or reservists to obtain release without penalties should they develop conscientious objections, and that the civil, economic and political rights of conscientious objectors are fully protected;
  3. to immediately cease any recruitment into the armed forces of persons aged under 18 and stop any military-type training of such persons;
  4. to accept applications for asylum from all persons seeking to escape military service in any country where there is no adequate provision for conscientious objectors, and especially where they are in danger of being otherwise forced to participate in armed conflict;
  5. to decrease military expenditure and increase social spending, and to make available to citizens with conscientious objections means of specifying that no part of the taxes which they have personally paid is directed towards military expenditure;
  6. to introduce peace education in all parts of the education system.

Support EBCO

Account Information

  • EBCO account: TRIODOS BANK Brussels
  • IBAN: BE43 5230 8091 0001

European Bureau for Conscientious Objection

35 Van Elewyck street, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +32 2 648 5220, Fax: +32 2 648 6988

ebco@ebco-beoc.org / www.ebco-beoc.org

EBCO has the legal status of Belgian international association provided by Royal Decree of 26 May 1986, published in the Belgian Official Journal “Moniteur Belge” on 6 June 1986.    

Régistre des personnes morales à Bruxelles : 428 899 653