Please note the following:

  • I'm not seeking legal advice (already checked with a lawyer), rather I'd love to hear others thoughts/conclusions
  • For the sake of simplification I am using approximate USD at present exchange rates
  • While I am describing this from my perspective (since I'm affected by it) about 40,000 people are affected every year
  • I tried to obfuscate my country as I want to hear how it is handled/seen in your country

The human rights state:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

My understanding is that this statement is independent of gender.

I also would like to quote our federal constitution:

Art. 8 Equality before the law

1 Every person is equal before the law.

2 No person may be discriminated against, in particular on grounds of origin, race, gender, age, language, social position, way of life, religious, ideological, or political convictions, or because of a physical, mental or psychological disability.

3 Men and women have equal rights. The law shall ensure their equality, both in law and in practice, most particularly in the family, in education, and in the workplace. Men and women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

4 The law shall provide for the elimination of inequalities that affect >persons with disabilities.

And, later:

Art. 59 Military service and alternative service

1 Every [name of the country] man is required to do military service. Alternative civilian service shall be provided for by law.

2 Military service is voluntary for [name of the country] women.

3 Any [name of the country] man who does not do military or alternative service is liable to pay a tax. This tax is levied by the Confederation and assessed and collected by the Cantons.

4 The Confederation shall legislate for fair compensation for loss of income.

5 Persons who suffer damage to their health or lose their lives while doing military or alternative civilian service are entitled to appropriate support from the Confederation, whether for themselves or for their next of kin.

This clearly contradicts the idea that males and females have the same rights and duties. While this is still somehow acceptable (you also would want the ones who are best for the task, not just everyone) the tax for those who are not allowed (!) to do the service in my eyes is not.

Like in my situation, it was that I went to military, but during service I got rejected because of my health. I am not even allowed to do civil service.

Law now requires me to pay 3% of my income, but at least 400USD every year – no matter if I live in this country or not. If I were not earning enough, I still would have to pay at least 400USD to my country every year. You could say that it is illegal for me to be poor.

1. Do this laws contradict human rights? (Note: Many people went to the human rights court because of this, sometimes they agreed that it does, sometimes it does not. In the end it doesn't matters as my country doesn't care about decisions of the human rights court.)

You have different possibilities to be expelled from that tax. The most famous one is being a woman. The second one is being disabled by at least 40%.

Since males and females have the same rights and duties, I come up with this equation in this particular situation:

male + 40% disabled = female

As mentioned both genders have the same law applied to the according to human rights and constitution. Does this empathize that ALL woman are at least disabled by 40%?

male + 40% disabled = female (who are all disabled).

I know this sounds salty but somehow I cannot get rid of this equation.

Anyway, we have a law for transsexuals that states that you don’t need to pay anymore if you switched gender and:

A psychiatrist and a endocrinologist confirmed that you're not a male anymore and don't have a male body.

If you need to switch gender it is considered an illness (living the wrong body) and healthcare pays for your therapy and operations.

This makes becoming female free, staying male costs. Considering with the points above (some people cannot afford to pay):

2. Is it legitimate that the government puts pressure onto someone to switch gender and get rid of his genitals?

  • For what it's worth, I'm with you: any decent, civilized nation would exempt you from the tax if they decide you're not fit for service. All other questions aside, it is clearly wrong to compel you to pay the tax when they are the ones saying you can't serve. If you refuse to pay, what's the penalty?
    – Patrick87
    Nov 17, 2016 at 22:46
  • 2
    Trying to obscure the country doesn't help this question: This site addresses questions about law as it is. What you think about the law, or what you think the law should be, are off-topic. So, for example, "Is it legal?" can be addressed within your country's constitution, laws, and treaties. While your observations are interesting, asking, "Is this fair?" is off-topic.
    – feetwet
    Nov 18, 2016 at 13:41
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    @Patrick87 the penalty goes from several warnings to seizure of your goods (with or without your consent), they also can enforce your employer to stop paying you and redirect the payment directly to them. During this time they are allowed to refuse governmental services like renewing your ID card/passport. The last option is prison.
    – user9886
    Nov 18, 2016 at 18:14
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    "Human rights" that are not codified in any legal form are a matter of philosophy, ethics, and opinion; and hence are off-topic. And I doubt the question of whether some law or practice in one jurisdiction conflicts with the laws of an unrelated jurisdiction is suited to this stack exchange. Otherwise, the answer to your question is, "Yes, if government A does X, and you define human rights to include a prohibition on X, then government A violates human rights." See?
    – feetwet
    Nov 18, 2016 at 18:26
  • 1
    (On a side note, woman-rights movements fight for equal rights — in many if not most cases rightfully so — but in certain aspects of life men, in fact, are inferior, exploited and treated as of less worth, and as disposable. Women are systemically treated as birth-, men as disposable killing machines. Now who’s better off!? Looking at the question from a moral, and political philosophy aspect, I concur with those before me: The policy is despicable, and I immediately have on tip that the country is Russia. It is worth noting there is are exit clauses is ECoHR protocols and likely ECoHR as a[…]
    – kisspuska
    Oct 1, 2022 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


Article 8 is pretty clear. The fact that it is recommended to extend the draft to women indicates that there is a conflict needing resolution. A relevant case before the European Court of Human Rights ruled on this and found the law to violate articles 14 and 8 of the ECHR. They identify an exoneration from the tax under the Military-Service Exemption Tax Act sect. 4. Reading the judgment could be helpful (maybe you know the case). What I get from it is that there are a bunch of situation-specific details that could be applied (e.g. you have to first complain formally in-country before going to ECHR), and issues of disability level and the distinction between disability and illness. This gives a model for anyone to attempt to resist the tax, but only a change in the law will get rid of it.

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