Conscription, or forced military service, was one thread to our freedom that most Westerners didn’t have to worry about in recent decades. However, that may be about to change. Increasing conflicts around the World and the fact that the militaries are struggling to find new recruits suggest that forced military service may be imminent.

The experience of Ukrainian men who have fled abroad to avoid the conflict in their country may be an early warning sign of how things may play out.

Thousands of Ukrainian men living abroad are being refused consular services by their consuls and embassies worldwide. This means that passports can’t be renewed.  They are unable to get documents legalized.  This is essential to gain residency and subsequent citizenship in other countries.  These men have been purposely abandoned by their government.  The goal of the Ukrainian government is to force the return of the unfortunate citizens and have them sent to the front lines in the ongoing war with Russia.  This could result in death or serious injury.

It’s easy to see how this could happen to citizens of Western countries. Some European governments have already suggested that conscription could be reintroduced to bolster their militaries.

For example, Sweden recently announced that it will double the number of recruits conscripted to its military. Around 10% of Sweden’s conscripted recruits do so unwillingly and face jail sentences for refusal to serve. Latvia introduced a national service in January this year.

Other European countries that have conscription include Lithuania, Cyprus,  Estonia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland. These countries argue that conscription is necessary to ensure national defense, foster social cohesion, and instill a sense of civic responsibility among the younger generation.

It’s difficult to imagine anything more contrary to the concept of freedom than being forcibly conscripted into any country’s military. As global tensions increase, this will likely become more of an issue. Families will not want their offspring to serve in the military, where there is a risk of conscripts being sent to live conflicts and potentially killed.

Most young people don’t want to interrupt their education, career, or personal plans to serve in the military. Conscription may expose the conscripts to physical and psychological harm, especially if they are deployed to conflict zones or face hostile situations. It also infringes on the human rights and freedoms of the conscripts, who will have no choice in their service.

Therefore, having a second passport can be a lifesaver for these men who do not want to be drafted into the military of their country of origin. A second passport can give them alternative citizenship, identity, and legal protection. A second passport can also enable them to travel, live, work, and study in other countries without being subject to the conscription laws of their country of origin. A second passport can also help them avoid the potential penalties or sanctions that their country may impose on them for refusing conscription, such as fines, imprisonment, loss of civil rights, or revocation of passport. Even a second residency will provide a safe haven to avoid being drafted into the military.

It may only be a matter of time before conscription once again becomes common in many countries around the world. Conscription has not been necessary in the major English-speaking countries for decades. However, their militaries now face a recruitment crisis with young people reluctant to sign up. This will put pressure on governments to consider reintroducing compulsory military service. If the current increase in global tensions continues, it may be inevitable.

You never want your family to end up like the unfortunate Ukrainian citizens. In addition to the other advantages of a second passport and the additional freedom that it offers, a second passport could quite literally save your life.