September 1, 2020
In August, Human Rights Watch released a new report authored by Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham entitled, “Stopping Killer Robots: Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons and Retaining Human Control.” The 55-page report reviews the positions of 97 countries that have publicly commented since 2013 on calls to ban fully autonomous weapons.
The report is the first of its kind to draw close attention to where countries stand on the killer robots challenge. The report findings have spurred parliamentary questions, media scrutiny, and public interest. Campaign to Stop Killer Robots members worldwide are using it as a tool to press for political leaders to commit to work with like-minded states in launching negotiations on an international treaty.
Wareham and HRW Arms Division executive director Steve Goose launched the report at a virtual press briefing hosted on Zoom by the correspondents’ association at the United Nations in Geneva. Despite a packed news cycle, the report generated coverage by more than 185 media outlets in 15 languages across 40 countries, with key advocacy targets Germany and the United Kingdom as the locations of the most significant media coverage.