By the end of 2017, Switzerland had about 48,000 people serving in the military’s civilian protection corps – 4,000 more than the year before.
The number of service days also went up to 1.8 million, which was 100,000 more than in 2016, announced the Central Office for Civilian Serviceexternal link on Wednesday.
Nearly 75% of that time was spent on social and health work. About 10% went towards environmental and conservation tasks, and the remainder were spent on jobs related to education, culture, agriculture and emergencies. The breakdown was similar to that of the previous year, but there were more courses offered – especially related to childcare.
However, to ensure that there are enough soldiers in the military, the Swiss government wants to make civilian service less attractive. Last November, the Federal Council asked the Department of Economic Affairs to draw up measures for reducing the number of permits granted for conscripted recruits to do civilian rather than military service.
A consultation draft is expected by this coming autumn.