Table 6: Grounds for Exemption or Deferment

Medical

  • those who are adjudged to have a permanent medical or physical condition rendering them unfit for service are always excused military service. This may take the form of a height limit (e.g. in Thailand). Where women are subject to conscription exemption may also be granted on the grounds of pregnancy (Israel) or deferment while breast-feeding (Eritrea).
  • legislation in Moldova refers to “the List of illnesses, approved by the Ministry of Health”
  • Sweden permits a deferment of no more than a year at a time “if the applicant's physical or psychological capacity is temporarily so reduced that it can be presumed that the training cannot be completed.” (5.8)

Family Circumstances:

  • Only son

    • Brazil
    • Colombia
      • “Persons who are the only child (male or female) of a marriage or permanent union, of a widowed, divorced or separated woman, or of a single mother.”
  • Sole family breadwinner

    • Colombia
      • “Persons who have lost their father or mother and are working to support siblings who are not capable of supporting themselves”
      • “Persons looking after parents who are unable to work or are over the age of 60 and have no income, pension or means of subsistence”
    • Croatia
      • “If in the common household there is no other member capable to work, and it is indispensable to perform urgent works which cannot be done without causing damages to the household without his presence.”
    • Serbia-Montenegro
      • Under Article 35 of the 2003 Military Service Act deferments are permitted to those who would experience difficulty in providing for their family if they have been living abroad and have no means of income while waiting for the start of military service. Furthermore, the more general dispensation under Article 308 of the Yugoslay Army Act may still be granted for those whose families would experience material hardship as a result of their leaving to perform military service.
    • USA
      • men who can show that their induction would result in severe hardship to their dependents
  • Sole carer for incapacitated family members

    • Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro
  • Difficulties for the family as a result of death, illness or natural disasters

    • Serbia-Montenegro
      • Deferment of up to one year permitted, but only as long as the situation persists.
  • Married persons living with their spouse

    • Colombia
    • Germany
      • (including unmarried persons who are cohabiting)
  • Orphan

    • Brazil
  • Forthcoming wedding

    • Croatia
      • a deferment of up to three months is permitted.
  • Siblings currently performing military service

    • Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro
      • Deferments permitted; the precise qualifying conditions unclear.
    • Eritrea
      • if all other siblings are performing military service
  • Member of close family killed during military service

    • Colombia
      • “the siblings or children of persons who have died or have been totally and permanently incapacitated in combat, in the line of duty or as a consequence thereof or whilst performing compulsory military service, unless that person is fit for service and volunteeers to serve.”
      • “the children of police personnel (oficiales suboficiales agentes y civiles de la Fuerza Publica) who have died or have been totally and permanently incapacitated in action or in the line of duty or for reasons related thereto, unless, where appropriate, that person is fit for service and volunteers to serve.”
    • Iran
      • father or brother killed in Iran - Iraq war
    • Moldova
    • USA
    • Uzbekistan

Occupational

  • Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro

    • those newly employed and undergoing training are allowed some latitude to defer in order to complete this.
  • Serbia-Montenegro
    • also allows deferments to
  • Eritrea
    • “businessmen, industrial and farm workers, self-employed women, women working in the home, women raising children, and women in employment, except in bars, nightclubs and hotels” employed on short-term contracts, or
  • Sweden
    • “Anyone who has a function as a member of parliament, as substitute for a member of parliament or as a member of the cabinet has, without special decision, deferment for the duration of the assignment. The same applies for anyone who has a function in an international organisation and who, according to an agreement that Sweden has concluded with a foreign state, shall or ought not serve in the Total Defence organisation for the duration of the assignment.”
  • Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
    • shepherds
  • USA
    • holders of public elected office

Distinction in sport or other areas of activity

  • Croatia
    • “On a personal demand of the conscript or on the demand of the Croatian Olympic Committee” or equivalent sports federation “so that he might participate in the Olympic and Mediterranean Games, Universal, World and European championships, World and European Cups, international youth competitions (European Youth Olympic Festivals, World Youth Games, games Alps-Adriatic, official international competitions and national championships.”
  • Serbia-Montenegro
    • “Exceptionally... the recruit first-class sportists or members of national representation, the recruit-first-class artist or the recruit-first-class scientist can be given the opportunity of postponing the serving of his military duty on the demand of the competent federal minister”

Deferment to complete higher education

  • Iran
  • Kazakhstan
    • (only those who are already enrolled in further education)
  • Serbia-Montenegro
    • (under the still-applied article 301 of the Yugoslav Army Law); the deferment may not continue beyond the end of November of the year of the 27th birthday.
    • elsewhere those about to enter a course are also permitted to defer)
  • (in some other countries those entering higher education are allowed to bring forward the timing of their service)

Lack of education

  • Israel
    • those who have completed less than eight years of formal education

Criminals

  • Colombia
    • “persons who have been sentenced to a penalty that involves depriving them of their political rights pending their rehabilitiation”
  • Israel
  • Moldova
    • “persons who have served their punishment for having committed severe crimes”

Ministers of Religion and religious students

  • Austria
  • Colombia
    • “Priests and members of religious orders... as well as their counterparts in other religions or churches who are involved full-time in religious activities.”
  • Israel
    • especially ultra-orthodox yeshiva religious students, but also Druze religious students
  • Moldova
    • “clergymen of religious cults, monks, and students of the theological educational institution”
  • Poland
  • Romania
    • “the invested or ordained personnel of the legally recognized religions.” (Law 46/1996, Article 6c)
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
    • “church ministers and incumbents of offices in a religious denomination registered according to established procedure” (Law on General Military Duty and Military Service, 2232/92, Articles 17 and 30).
  • USA
    • also students preparing for the ministry

Minorities

  • Colombia
    • “indigenous persons living in their own territories and who are preserving their cultural, social and economic integrity”
  • Israel
    • Arab Israelis and “yeshiva” (and all non-Jewish women)
  • Paraguay
    • indigenous peoples
  • Russian Federation
    • “small indigenous peoples”

Geographical

  • Brazil
    • recruitment only takes place in certain areas of the country - although registration is required everywhere. It is alleged that one evasion technique is to register in an area where recruitment does not take place.
  • Bosnia - Herzegovina
    • the Brcko District
  • Denmark
    • self-governing dependent territories (Greenland, Faroes)
  • Finland
    • the Aland Islands