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The rights of conscripts during national emergencies in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia: a case study of COVID-19

4 July, 2022



"Beyond human security, ensuring respect and fulfilment of rights of conscripts is important as it contributes to state security and good governance of the security sector."

This study examines how COVID-19 affected conscription and the rights of conscripts, in particular with respect to measures implemented by states in order to protect their rights. Special attention is paid to conscripts as they constitute one of the most vulnerable groups within the armed forces and therefore remain at higher risk of human rights violations.

It presents the international legal framework governing the restrictions of and derogations from human rights during national emergencies as applicable to conscripts, and uses case studies from Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia to examine what measures states took to mitigate or prevent violations of the rights of conscripts.

The study offers practical tools and situational analysis that military legal advisors can apply in order to check whether considered restrictions or derogations meet international standards and best practice. 

It is aimed at all individuals who play a role in promoting, protecting, and enforcing the human rights of conscripts, including parliamentarians, government officials, policy makers, international organizations, military legal advisors, judges, professional military associations, and non-governmental organizations. It is also aimed at public health officials, practitioners, and researchers. The study aims to support their efforts to ensure that conscripts enjoy, to the fullest extent possible, the fundamental rights and freedoms granted to them under national and international law.