Conscientious Objection is a Human Rights Issue

The position of the Peace Tax Foundation is that taxation for the purpose of war and other military spending is a form of conscription. Conscripting our taxes for military purposes is contrary to our deeply held moral principles. The Peace Tax Foundation seeks to advocate for the evolving understanding that conscientious objection to war also applies to paying for it through taxation. Like the United States, the United Nations recognizes conscientious objection. The Office of The High Commissioner on Human Rights has spoken to the issue of conscientious objection:

“The right to conscientious objection to military service is based on article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief. While the Covenant does not explicitly refer to a right to conscientious objection, in its general comment No. 22 (1993) the Human Rights Committee stated that such a right could be derived from article 18, inasmuch as the obligation to use lethal force might seriously conflict with the freedom of conscience and the right to manifest one’s religion or belief.

The Human Rights Council, and previously the Commission on Human Rights, have also recognized the right of everyone to have conscientious objection to military service as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as laid down in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (see their resolutions which were adopted without a vote in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2012and 2013).”

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In addition, more information can be found in the United Nations publication “Conscientious Objection to Military Service”