Why does Thailand have conscription

Bangkok

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the armed forces to consider proposals to abolish compulsory military service and replace it with voluntary military service.

Defense Department spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanit said at a press conference that Prayut had given the instruction in his capacity as Defense Minister during a meeting of the National Defense Council. His main concern is whether voluntary military service would affect national security. The armed forces should also investigate whether the abolition of conscription would affect the personnel structure and budget of the military.

Activists and the Future Forward Party have called for the abolition of conscription. Future Forward announced that it will introduce a law to amend the Ministry of Defense law to make conscription voluntary. The bill stipulates that soldiers receive a starting salary of 15,000 baht.

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