Information on compulsory military service since 1990 and whether the procedures for such service have been relaxed [CZE16938.E]

In March 1990 the Czech and Slovak Republic (CSR) adopted a new law on military service which reduced the term of compulsory military service from 24 to 18 months (RFE/RL 7 Feb. 1992, 49; Amnesty International Jan. 1991, 8-9).

After the Czech Republic became independent in January 1993, the Czech defence ministry announced that the 18-month period of military service would remain in effect while the government considered reducing the term to 12 months (Mlada Fronta Dnes
23 Jan. 1993). In April 1993 the government decided in favour of the reduction, and the Czech parliament approved the new 12-month period of compulsory military service on 15 June (CTK 7 Apr. 1993; ibid. 15 June 1993). In November 1993 the defense ministry announced that compulsory military service for farmers would only be for five months (from October to February) (CTK 2 Nov. 1993).

In April 1991 the CSR defence ministry announced that 40 per cent of the country's reservists were ignoring call-ups for reserve service. As a result, in the same month the defence ministry changed the regulations for reserve service, reducing the total time of reserve training to 16 weeks for officers and 12 weeks for all others (RFE/RL 7 Feb. 92, 49-50). In addition, the minimum period of time between training sessions would be four to five years, while the maximum time of an individual call-up period would be 19 days for officers and 12 days for all others. By mid-1991 the military service law of the CSR had been amended to incorporate these changes (ibid.).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Amnesty International. January 1991. Conscientious Objection to Military Service. (AI Index: POL 31/01/91) London: Amnesty International.

CTK [Prague, in English]. 2 November 1993. "Military Service for Private Farmers Reduced." (FBIS-EEU-93-213 5 Nov. 1993, p. 8)

. 15 June 1993. "Military Service To Be Reduced." (FBIS-EEU-93-115 17 June 1993, p. 12)

. 7 April 1993. "Cabinet Approves Cut in Military Service." (FBIS-EEU-93-070 14 Apr. 1993, p. 11)

Mlada Fronta Dnes [Prague, in Czech]. 23 January 1993. "Military Service Maximum To Be Reduced." (FBIS-EEU-93-018 29 Jan. 1993, p. 13)

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 7 February 1992. RFE/RL Research Report [Munich]. Vol. 1, No. 6. Jan Obrman. "The Czechoslovak Armed Forces: The Reform Continues."