Changes to legislation on conscripts
Inna Sukhorukova, one of the KHPG group monitoring conscription twice a year, reports that in the last two years the Ministry of Defence has done quite a lot to improve the legislation pertaining to conscript service as well as military servicemen on contracts.
In 2008 the Ministry’s Order No. 207 was seriously reworked. Now, as Order No. 402, it contains Regulations on Military-Medical Assessments in the Armed Forces. There are now clear provisions on the need before the conscription process begins to gather all medical documentation about the young man about to be called up. The list is long and includes all relevant documents regarding psychiatric treatment, or treatment for allergies, and information regarding any infectious illnesses such as viral hepatitis or dysentery in the last six months. In comparison with Order No. 207 this article requires much more specific and comprehensive medical documentation.
This should avoid the situations which sometimes arose where information simply didn’t reach the military commissions, for example, where a young lad had finished a school for the mentally retarded.
The new requirements also specify which specimens must be provided. For the first time there is compulsory examination for HIV and hepatitis B and C. Inna Sukhorukova points out that KHPG had been seeking these amendments for almost 10 years. In virtually every group of conscripts they found one who had been accepted for military service with hepatitis C. According to specialists in this field within the military, the number of cases is much higher.
The requirements in Order No. 402 can be considered something of a revolution in enabling infectious diseases to be caught when people are being called up.
Unfortunately State funding has not been allocated for these tests.
No less needed is the Ministry of Defence’s Order from 20.10.2009 No. 525 on Instructions for organizing professional and psychological selection for the Armed Services.
The Instructions require all those who intend to enter military educational institutions or serve on contract to undergo professional and psychological tests. Variants of expert opinions are described in detail for various psychological indicators.
It is to be welcomed that the Instructions stipulate entire confidentiality of the assessment and clearly state who is liable for disclosure of confidential information.
It is not as yet clear whether the Instructions are to cover conscripts for whom such assessments are also needed.