Access to civilian service to be complicated

Swiss men who opt for a civilian duty rather than service in the militia army are to face higher hurdles.

This content was published on December 10, 2010 - 15:20 and agencies

The cabinet on Friday approved a series of measures in an effort to reduce the number of applications for civilian service, which rose sharply in the wake of last year’s reform.

The measures include a personal discussion with applicants to motivate them for army duty.

The defence ministry added it will not reintroduce a vetting system of conscientious objectors suspended in 2009.

However, critics have described the planned measures as "ridiculous and unreasonable" and a setback for a fair system in a modern society.

Under the conscript system all able-bodied men are liable to serve in the Swiss armed forces, including basic training and regular refresher courses up to the age of 34.

The average service days in the army for a private is around 260 days, while community service lasts longer.

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