Eleventh International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Woltersdorf near Berlin, Germany 2006

Workshop 7  “Towards War Resistance as a Human Right”

 (COMS and COMT)

[pdf version]

Workshop moderator: Sepp Rottmayr

Hand-out and suggested procedure:

  1. Introduction

    (6 page full text available from Sepp Rottmayr)

    • Human rights history is history of people becoming aware of them
    • On “just war” hypothesis: fallacy, see historical experience
    • Knowledge of structural violence sharpens human rights awareness
    • The individual's right to war resistance is vital for humanity's future
    • The road towards a human right has three stages
    • How to draft war resistance as a human right
    • How to propagate a human right
    • How to introduce a human right
    • Proposed draft wording for a human right to war resistance
    • Benefits for peace tax issues

      Suggested procedure:

  2. Round table on introduction
  3. Search for draft wording (proposals on slips of paper)
  4. Round table to explain proposals
  5. Attempt to agree on common wording
  6. If 5. successful, motion to be adopted by Conference

Types of involvement in war:

  1. Involvement in military forces, their infrastructure and intended deployment (military service, draft)
  2. Involvement in production and propagation of armaments and weapons systems
  3. Involvement in funding 1. and 2.

Draft wording of war resistance as a human right

  1. No-one shall be compelled to participate either actively or passively in military institutions or action
  2. No-one shall be compelled to contribute either actively or passively to military violence
  3. No-one shall be compelled to support military forces, their infrastructure and action either actively or passively
  4. No-one shall be compelled to enable military action or participate in it (added by workshop)

Munich, October 23, 2006, Sepp Rottmayr

By way of preparation for the workshop, a German group had spent several months discussing various drafts which were included in the hand-out (see above)

The hand-out contained the 1994 “Hondarribia Declaration”: THE RIGHT OF NON-COOPERATION WITH MILITARY EXPENDITURE” (see CPTI website: conf/conf_list.html) and the CPTI flyer: “We assert the human right of conscientious objection to participation in war – whether that participation is physical or financial”.

15 people attended the workshop.

The discussion focused on:

Result: New draft wording of a human right

“Human beings are free to reject military violence.

Therefore no person shall be compelled to participate in military violence, directly or indirectly.”

Workshop participants propose this draft to national groups for further discussion and to the conference plenary for discussion and approval.

Hannelore Morgenstern-Przygoda