In spite of the recognition in both UN and European standards to the right to conscientious objection, many European states continue to deny this right to many of their citizens. The present report announces AI’s campaign for the recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service in Europe, which will be launched on 15 April 1997. It is also a briefing for the 53rd session of the UN Commission on Human Rights currently under way in Geneva. The report gives an overview of the various international and European human rights standards regarding conscientious objection and explains the provisions that governments should make for conscientious objectors. The report concludes by making some recommendations which, if implemented, would considerably enhance human rights protection for conscientious objectors.