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Filatov: Shorter Non-Military National Service

Labour Minister Tarja Filatov says the length of non-military national service should be cut.

Filatov told YLE Radio that it was embarrassing that the United Nations Human Rights Committee had criticised the country's national service for those young men who do not want to bear arms. It said that requiring 13 months of civilian service instead of six months of military service amounted to a kind of punishment for conscientious objectors.

Jehovah's Witnesses are exempted from national service but other conscientious objectors are not. The UNHRC also criticizes the fact that the law does not specify what role men opting for non-military service would play in the event of war.

Several human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, have strongly criticised Finland's system of national service for years.

Filatov hopes to present the issue for debate in the cabinet.

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