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Alternative civilian service law to enter into force in Belarus in July 2016

Belarus has adopted a law on alternative civilian service. The main provisions of the Act come into force on July 1, 2016.

Alternative service is a socially useful activity, which implementation lies with the citizens of the Republic of Belarus in return for military service.

According to the document, the alternative service can be applied to citizens who are to be called up for military service, serve in the reserve, physically qualified to undergo military service and service in the reserve who personally state that the adoption of the military oath, wearing or use of weapons, or direct involvement in the production and maintenance of weapons, ammunition and military equipment are contrary to their religious beliefs to the extent that it becomes impossible to undergo military service.

Alternative service is not applied to citizens who are exempt from conscription or granted a delay.

One will be able to undergo alternative service in such areas as healthcare organizations, social services, housing, agriculture and forestry, organizations involved in landscaping, construction and repair of roads and railway lines.

In addition, such individuals may be required to participate in the liquidation of consequences of emergency situations of natural and man-made.

The following terms of alternative service for citizens are established:

- without higher education - 36 months;
- with higher education - 24 months.

The law provides a number of restrictions for the citizens performing alternative service. They may not:

- take part in strikes;
- engage in other paid activities (work);
- engage in entrepreneurial activity.