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Approaches to minorities in conscription systems in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia

14 June, 2023



This study examines the role, inclusion, and protection of the rights of minorities in conscription systems, with a special focus on Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia.

It analyzes the situation of conscripts, focusing on the following good practices: the struggle to overcome inequality, discrimination, and harassment; inclusion strategies and training measures; dealing with complaints of discrimination or harassment; special personnel policies; implementation of equal opportunity in the armed forces; approaches to linguistic minorities; approaches to religious minorities; and special food and dietary requirements.

The study provides a list of key recommendations on how conscription systems can better accommodate the presence of minority servicemen.

Lastly, the study outlines the key international instruments relevant to the protection of minorities in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia.  

Diversity is one of the truest reflections of our nation’s ideals, and part of the fabric of our military. It is crucial, not because it is in vogue, but because it makes us better, stronger, and more effective as a fighting force.