News

Pandemic postpones diplomatic talks

November 2, 2020

Given the urgent need for regulation, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is disappointed that diplomatic talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems have been postponed until 2021. It is essential to abide by restrictions put in place by authorities to slowthe spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) could have Read more...

75th UN Assembly

October 30, 2020

Concerns over killer robots featured prominently at the high-level opening segment of the historic 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly this year. Pope Francis warned that lethal autonomous weapons systems would “irreversibly alter the nature of warfare, detaching it further from human agency.” He called on states to “break with the present climate Read more...

Diplomatic talks re-convene

September 25, 2020

States convened at the United Nations in Geneva this week for another Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of meetings planned in the first half of 2020. This marked the first time that the CCW has held a physically distanced meeting as well as Read more...

Maintaining momentum during the pandemic

September 18, 2020

The United Nations (UN) has confirmed that a Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems will proceed to be held on 21-25 September. This will be the first diplomatic meeting on killer robots since August 2019 and ninth since 2014. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of CCW meetings on killer Read more...

New Human Rights Watch Report

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 Read more...

Engaging Youth

August 12, 2020

Since the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in the World Scout Jamboree in July 2019, we have received multiple requests from children and young people asking for information on the killer robots threat as well as how to help the Campaign. In response, the Campaign staff team are producing new resources, holding consultations with Read more...

Outreach at RightsCon

July 29, 2020

In July 2020, the Campaign hosted an event at “RightsCon,” the preeminent annual gathering of activists and others working for human rights in the digital age. This was the Campaign’s first participation at RightsCon and it certainly won’t be our last. Originally scheduled to be held in Costa Rica, the 2020 RightsCon was transformed into Read more...

Ypres Peace Prize

June 18, 2020

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has won the Ypres Peace Prize, awarded by the Belgian city every three years since 2002. The prize will be presented on Armistice Day–11 November 2020–which marks 101 years since the end of World War I. Read more...

Job Opening: Government Relations

June 15, 2020

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is seeking to hire a Government Relations Manager for its rapidly-growing international coalition of non-governmental organizations working to ban fully autonomous weapons and retain meaningful human control over the use of force. Read more...

Protect civilians: Stop killer robots

May 21, 2020

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged states to move “expeditiously” to address concerns over lethal autonomous weapon systems in his 2020 report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. He flagged the imperative of banning such weapons at a virtual UN Security Council debate on the report on 27 May. Read more...

Digital diplomacy begins

March 31, 2020

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in a webcast version of the Berlin Forum on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems on 1-2 April. The original face-to-face meeting for government representatives and non-governmental organizations was initially cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Read more...

Global meeting in Buenos Aires

March 16, 2020

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots held its second global meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26-28 February 2020. More than 80 campaigners from 35 countries participated in the meeting hosted by Asociación para Políticas Públicas (APP), a member of SEHLAC, the Human Security Network in Latin America and the Caribbean that is on the Read more...

Defending multilateralism in 2019

December 11, 2019

As we close out the decade, it is worth reflecting on how far the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has come. The killer robots challenge is now regarded by foreign ministers and other high-level politicians as an urgent “politically relevant” concern deserving immediate multilateral action. There is widespread recognition that weapons systems that would select Read more...

Alarm bells ring on killer robots

November 15, 2019

Diplomatic talks on weapons systems that would select and engage targets without further human intervention are set to continue for two more years. But what will they deliver? And will they be too late? Major military powers are investing heavily in the development of increasingly autonomous weapons. Fears are rising that the lack of multilateral Read more...

High-level concerns on killer robots at UN

October 30, 2019

Yet again, the killer robots challenge has received high-level attention at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly To re-cap, in 2018 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the prospect of machines with the power and discretion to kill “morally repugnant and politically unacceptable,” while Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas urged nations to support Read more...

Russia, United States attempt to legitimize killer robots

August 22, 2019

Russia and the United States are continuing their losing fight against the inevitable treaty that’s coming for killer robots. Most states participating in the diplomatic talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems have expressed their strong desire to negotiate a new treaty to address mounting concerns. At this week’s Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting, Jordan Read more...

Minority of states delay effort to ban killer robots

March 29, 2019

Yet again, a small group of military powers have shown an appalling lack of ambition and zero sense of urgency for achieving a meaningful result from the diplomatic talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Many of the 90 states participating in this week’s United Nations meeting on these weapons expressed their firm desire to move Read more...

No killer robots for European Defence Fund

February 20, 2019

A provisional agreement reached on 20 February 2019 would prohibit the new European Defence Fund (EDF) from investing in the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems or killer robots. The partial political agreement now must be formally approved by the European Parliament and Council. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the agreement as an Read more...

Rise of the tech workers

January 14, 2019

A group of more than 4,000 anonymous Google employees has fittingly been named 2018 “Arms Control Person of the Year” for their role in helping the company to end a military contract that raised ethical and other concerns over the appropriate use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots applauds Read more...

Fragile diplomatic talks limp forward

November 23, 2018

Reflecting the fragility of multilateralism today, states have agreed that the diplomatic talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems—killer robots—will limp forward next year, with even less time dedicated. The weak outcome at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) annual meeting underscores the critical need for bold political leadership to prevent dehumanizing the use of force. Read more...

UN head calls for a ban

November 12, 2018

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the strong call to ban killer robots issued by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres. On 11 November at the Paris Peace Forum marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Secretary-General said, “Imagine the consequences of an autonomous system that could, by itself, target Read more...

Heed the European Parliament’s Call

September 27, 2018

European Union states should heed a resolution adopted this month by an overwhelming majority of  members of the European Parliament demanding the start of “international negotiations on a legally binding instrument prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems.” Read more...

Majority call to negotiate a new treaty

August 31, 2018

Support for new international law to ban fully autonomous weapons–killer robots–and retain meaningful human control over the use of force is growing rapidly. Yet the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is dismayed that a small number of military powers are actively preventing progress towards this goal. Read more...

UN seeks to retain human control over force

August 7, 2018

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is offering to support states to elaborate new measures such as “legally binding arrangements” to ensure that “humans remain at all times in control over the use of force.” The offer is contained in the UN head’s 74-pp disarmament agenda launched in Geneva on 24 May 2018, Read more...

Parliamentary actions in Europe

July 10, 2018

This round-up looks at recent parliamentary actions in Europe in support of the call to ban fully autonomous weapons, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems. These initiatives provide more evidence of the growing support for starting negotiations on a new international treaty now. States will convene at the UN in Geneva on 27 August for Read more...

Google, other companies must endorse ban

May 16, 2018

Google and its parent company Alphabet are starting to address some ethical concerns raised by the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but, as yet, have not taken a position on the unchecked use of autonomy and AI in weapon systems. These and other technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle, should Read more...

Convergence on retaining human control of weapons systems

April 13, 2018

The global movement to retain meaningful human control over the use of force gained significant momentum this week during the fifth international meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems. The growing list of countries calling for a ban on fully autonomous weapons now stands at 26, with the additions of Austria, China, Colombia, and Djibouti. Read more...

Five years of campaigning, CCW continues

March 18, 2018

April 2018 marks five years since the launch of Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. It is also the fifth time since 2014 that governments are convening at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva to discuss concerns over lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots.” The campaign urges states Read more...

Munich Security Conference

February 22, 2018

Concerns at the prospect of fully autonomous weapons featured prominently during the high-level Munich Security Conference in Germany this month. More than 600 politicians, business leaders, and officials attended the annual conference held at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in the center of the city on 15-18 February. A public event on artificial intelligence and modern conflict Read more...

2017: A lost year for diplomacy

December 22, 2017

2017 was the most challenging year yet for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots due to the faltering effort to advance international deliberations over “lethal autonomous weapons systems” aka fully autonomous weapons or killer robots. On the positive side, demands for a ban on these weapons continued to multiply as did calls for new international Read more...

National campaigning against killer robots

December 7, 2017

This round-up of recent actions at the national level supporting the call to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons systems covers developments in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Holy See, Italy, Netherlands, UK and US in November-December 2017. Australia On 2 November 2017, more than 120 members of the Australian AI research community wrote to Prime Minister Read more...

Unambitious process on killer robots to continue

November 24, 2017

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the decision taken by 91 states at the annual meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva today to continue formal deliberations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” next year, but criticizes the lack of ambition in addressing mounting concerns over these weapons systems. Read more...

Support grows for new international law on killer robots

November 17, 2017

After four years a multilateral process to consider concerns relating to lethal autonomous weapons systems looks set to continue aiming low and going slow despite increasing calls for new international law to address this concern. Read more...

States convene to discuss killer robots

November 8, 2017

The first meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems opens at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva on Monday, 13 November. The following “frequently asked questions” review the meeting’s agenda and objectives as well as the expectations of the Campaign to Stop Read more...

Outreach at the UN in New York

October 12, 2017

For the fifth consecutive year in a row, states at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York have expressed concern over fully autonomous weapons, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems. More than 150 countries are participating in the month-long 72nd session of UNGA First Committee in addition to key UN Read more...

Company founders demand UN action on killer robots

August 20, 2017

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urges governments to heed an open letter signed by 126 founders and directors of more than 100 robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 28 countries demanding urgent action to address fully autonomous weapons concerns. Read more...

Concern from the United Nations

July 1, 2017

The United Nations says it is “closely following developments related to the prospect of weapons systems that can autonomously select and engage targets, with concern that technological developments may outpace normative deliberations.” It expresses hope that UN member states “make meaningful progress toward a shared understanding on how to ensure the core values of the international Read more...

Diplomatic Efforts Falter

May 30, 2017

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is deeply disappointed that the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) has cancelled a crucial week of formal discussions on fully autonomous weapons in August. This step was taken because of the failure of several states, most notably Brazil, to pay their assessed dues for the convention’s meetings. Read more...

Parliamentary actions

April 23, 2017

During the first half of 2017, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been stepping up its outreach at the national level to build support in key capitals for the call to ban development, production, and transfer of fully autonomous weapons. We are also engaging with diplomats from key countries at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Read more...

Moving forward in 2016

December 30, 2016

The most significant development for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2016 came at the very end of the year when countries agreed to formalize and dedicate more time to their deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems. The move came after states held informal discussions on the matter since 2014. The final document of Read more...

Formal talks should lead to killer robots ban

December 16, 2016

Governments have heeded the call of civil society to formalize and expand their deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems next year. The decision taken today by 89 nations at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to establish a Group of Governmental Experts brings the world another step closer towards a prohibition on the weapons. Read more...

Making the Case for Action

December 6, 2016

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is calling on all countries to participate in next week’s Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It invites states to join the group of 14 nations calling for a preemptive ban on weapons that would select and attack targets without further human intervention. On Friday, 12 December, Read more...

United Nations New York outreach

October 19, 2016

For the fourth consecutive year in a row, concerns over fully autonomous weapons have featured prominently at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. More than 150 countries are participating in the month-long session at the UN in New York, which is open to registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs). On 12 October, the Campaign to Stop Killer Read more...

Moscow contemplates robot arms control

October 6, 2016

Russia’s reluctant position on supporting more formal efforts to address concerns over lethal autonomous weapons systems came under scrutiny at a conference in Moscow at the end of September. The Russian Federation views more formal discussions on the matter at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) as “premature” and told an April 2016 meeting that it sees “divergent and conflicting positions” relating Read more...

Explosives Used on US Police Robot to Kill

July 14, 2016

The use of a remotely-controlled bomb disposal robot in Dallas, Texas on July 7 to deliver an explosive that detonated, killing a man suspected of shooting more than a dozen people, has attracted media attention and public scrutiny across the United States and around the world. While several media headlines have called this a “killer Read more...

Ban support grows, process goes slow

April 15, 2016

Momentum to prohibit weapons that would select and attack targets without further human intervention is building rapidly while a multilateral process to discuss the weapons proceeds, but at a lacklustre pace. This week, five countries called for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons systems during the third Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting on the matter: Algeria, Chile, Costa Read more...

Third UN meeting opens April 11

April 5, 2016

The third Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems will be held at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva on 11-15 April 2016. The following Frequently Asked Questions provide background on the objectives and purpose of this multilateral meeting. The formal proceedings will not be webcast live, but some statements will Read more...

Norwegian fund considers killer robots

March 19, 2016

The challenge of killer robots is firmly on the agenda in Norway, where the ethics council of the $830 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global has announced it intends to begin monitoring companies investing in the potential development of fully autonomous weapons systems. Ethics council chair Johan H. Andresen said the aim is to see if such investments would be contrary to Read more...

UN rapporteurs call for ban

March 9, 2016

Today at the Human Rights Council in Geneva two high-ranking UN experts issued a new report that includes a call to ban fully autonomous weapons. Previous UN reports issued in 2013 and 2014 called for a moratorium on these weapons, which would function autonomously without human control or intervention. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots invites Read more...

Experts on killer robots at Davos

January 22, 2016

Yesterday (21 January 2015), the World Economic Forum convened an hour-long panel discussion in cooperation with TIME to consider “what if robots go to war?” The session at the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland featured four speakers: former UN disarmament chief Angela Kane, BAE Systems chair Sir Roger Carr, artificial intelligence (AI) expert Stuart Russell and robot ethics Read more...

2015: Year in review

December 18, 2015

For the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the highlight of 2015 was the second meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems held at the United Nations in Geneva in April. Representatives from more than 90 countries as well as UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the campaign convened at the Convention on Conventional Weapons Read more...

More talks in 2016 but little ambition

November 13, 2015

Nations agreed today (November 13) to hold another week-long diplomatic meeting on 11-15 April 2016 to continue their deliberations on questions relating to lethal autonomous weapons systems. These are weapons that would select and attack targets without further human intervention. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots sees this decision as positive in that talks on killer robots will continue at Read more...

Concern & support at First Committee

October 27, 2015

More states have raised autonomous weapons concerns at the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security this year than in the past two years, according to a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots review of statements from the 2015 session, which concludes on 9 November. More than 30 states and five groups of states have included autonomous weapons Read more...

October at the United Nations in New York

October 8, 2015

The leadership of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be in New York on 19-20 October to conduct outreach at the UN General Assembly’s annual First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, which opened on 8 October and is chaired by Ambassador Karel van Oostrom, permanent representative of the Netherlands to the UN in New York. Nations are Read more...

New Zealand experts weigh in

September 2, 2015

Peace Movement Aotearoa, co-founder and coordinator of the Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, convened a forum in Wellington this week to consider, among other issues, the challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons and call for a preemptive ban. In recent weeks several New Zealanders or “Kiwis” have endorsed the call to ban these weapons that Read more...

Prevent another Hiroshima or Nagasaki

August 5, 2015

Japan commemorates the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, respectively. These attacks killed approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki, mostly civilians. Ever since then, humankind has been forced to coexist with nuclear weapons. The fear of nuclear war will remain until nuclear weapons are prohibited and their stocks destroyed, Read more...

Artificial intelligence experts call for ban

July 28, 2015

More than 3,000 artificial intelligence researchers, scientists, and related professionals have signed an open letter released in Buenos Aires on 28 July 2015 calling for a ban on autonomous weapons that select and engage targets without human intervention, thereby swelling the ranks of the rapidly growing global movement to address the weapons. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes Read more...

Step up the CCW mandate

June 18, 2015

After deliberating for two years on questions relating to “lethal autonomous weapons systems,” the time has come for states to commit to a more substantive process aimed at achieving an outcome that addresses the multiple concerns raised over the weapons. Nations are due to decide on 13 November 2015 if talks on this topic should continue next year at the Convention Read more...

Recognizing the need for human control

April 17, 2015

This week at the Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, states have held their deepest and richest deliberations to date on the concerns over autonomous weapons systems.  Read more...

Second multilateral meeting opens

April 14, 2015

A second round of multilateral talks on concerns over weapons systems that would select and attack targets without further human intervention opened on Monday morning at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. The meeting of experts on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” is considering questions relating to the emerging technology of these weapons, but there is not yet a negotiating Read more...

UN’s Angela Kane on killer robots

March 30, 2015

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots acknowledges the contributions made by Ms. Angela Kane of Germany, United Nations (UN) High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, in leading efforts to address the emerging issue of fully autonomous weapons systems. Read more...

2015 CCW meeting on killer robots

March 15, 2015

The second multilateral meeting on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” by members of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) will be held at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva on 13-17 April 2015. On Monday, 13 April, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will hold a side event briefing for all CCW Read more...

Davos considers killer robots

January 24, 2015

Concerns over fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” have been raised at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland with various publications and speakers addressing the matter. This is the first time that the annual meeting of world leaders from government, business, and civil society has considered the challenges posed by weapons systems that select targets Read more...

Artificial intelligence research call

January 16, 2015

Prominent scientists and researchers from industry and academia have signed an open letter calling for artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machine research to focus on developing systems that are “robust and beneficial” to humanity. The letter links to a document outlining “research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI” that includes a list of legal, ethical, and Read more...

2014: A year of progress

December 23, 2014

The first-ever multilateral meeting held earlier this year on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” marked a key milestone for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, while the consensus agreement by nations to hold another meeting at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) on 13-17 April 2015 confirms the matter is now firmly on the international agenda and Read more...

Missile Systems and Human Control

November 24, 2014

An article that appeared on the front page of The New York Times on 12 November detailing the trend towards autonomous warfare by the United States and other nations with high-tech militaries has attracted significant interest. The in-depth piece by science writer John Markoff is the outlet’s first on the “killer robots” challenge since Bill Keller’s Read more...

Talks on Killer Robots to Continue

November 14, 2014

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the decision taken by nations at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the United Nations in Geneva today to continue their deliberations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems.” The decision is an important acknowledgement of the legal, technical, ethical, operational, and societal concerns that have been raised. The broad consensus expressed for continuing the Read more...

Decision time: More talks in 2015?

November 4, 2014

Government delegates attending next week’s annual meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons  (CCW) at the United Nations in Geneva will decide whether to continue in 2015 with multilateral talks on questions relating to “lethal autonomous weapons systems.”  Read more...

Support at the United Nations in New York

October 28, 2014

Today (October 28), Campaign to Stop Killer Robots coordinator Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch delivered a statement to the United National General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York, which concludes its annual deliberations next week. Read more...

Back to the United Nations in New York

October 6, 2014

Representatives from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be in New York on 20-21 October to talk to government representatives and other United Nations (UN) delegates as well as media and the public about their concerns over fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” and the need for government action. Read more...

Public outreach in the Netherlands

September 30, 2014

Concerns over killer robots and armed drones were at the forefront of a “Night of Peace” or “De Nacht van de Vrede” event convened by Dutch non-governmental organization PAX in Amsterdam on 24 September, which featured talks by international speakers including a drone operator and roboticist. Read more...

Company pledges it won’t develop killer robots

August 13, 2014

ClearPath Robotics of Kitchener, Canada issued the following statement on 13 August 2014, pledging its support for the call for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. The company says it will continue to work with its military clients, but has “vouched to not manufacture weaponized robots that remove humans from the loop” as it “has chosen to value our Read more...

Congressional briefing on killer robots

July 17, 2014

On Tuesday, 15 July, Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) convened a “special briefing on killer robots” to discuss issues surrounding the development and use of fully autonomous lethal weapons. Roughly 65 people attended the briefing held in the Cannon House Office Building of the US Capitol from various Congressional offices as well as from the State Department Read more...

UN disarmament chief weighs in

July 4, 2014

United Nations disarmament chief Angela Kane stated this week (2 July) that “there is a widespread view” that weapons systems that have the capability of selecting and attacking targets without human intervention “must be subject to meaningful human control.” The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs made her remarks on 2 July at a meeting of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Advisory Read more...

Nobel laureates call for killer robots ban

June 12, 2014

More than 20 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have endorsed a joint statement calling for a ban on weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without meaningful human control. The Laureates warn that lethal robots would “completely and forever change the face of war and likely spawn a new arms race” and ask, “Can humanity afford to follow such a Read more...

Human rights concerns over killer robots

May 29, 2014

Concerns are increasing over the potential impact of fully autonomous weapons under human rights law, which applies during peacetime as well as armed conflict. Nations are expected to consider the matter at the next session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, which opens on 10 June. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is convening a Read more...

Nations confront killer robots challenge

May 16, 2014

At the first multilateral meeting ever held on killer robots, nations have recognized the need to confront the challenge of fully autonomous weapons that could select and attack targets without any human control. The call issued by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots for a pre-emptive ban on these fully autonomous weapons has become a central Read more...

First UN meeting on killer robots

May 5, 2014

The first multilateral talks on killer robots open at the United Nations in Geneva (UN) at 10:00 on Tuesday, 13 May. Many of the 117 states party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) are expected to attend the four-day meeting of experts on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” in addition to representatives from international and UN agencies, Read more...

Campaign interest builds in Japan

May 1, 2014

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and its concerns over the prospect of weapons systems that would be able to select and engage targets without meaningful human control features this week in a Newsweek Japan special edition on robotics. The issue comes as US President Barack Obama met with representatives from Japanese robotics companies and their robots during his visit to Japan Read more...

Outreach in Ottawa, Canada

April 29, 2014

Members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots this week called on the government of Canada to support the creation of new international law to pre-emptive ban fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’ as part of a new outreach effort by Mines Action Canada, a co-founder of the global Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Mines Action Canada‘s Erin Hunt urged Read more...

Launch of the Irish campaign

April 15, 2014

On 10 April, the Irish launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots took place at at Trinity College Dublin with a  keynote address by Professor Noel Sharkey, chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, a founder of the global Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Afri—a peace and human rights organisation that opposes war Read more...

Chatham House conference

March 14, 2014

The first Chatham House conference on autonomous military technologies in London on 24-25 February brought together individuals from different constituencies to contemplate autonomous weapons and the prospect of delegating human control over targeting and attack decisions to machines. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was pleased to be able to attend this well-organized and timely Read more...

Advising the UN Secretary-General

March 8, 2014

In early March, members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots briefed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s advisory board on disarmament matters on the emerging international concern over killer robots. The UN Secretary-General himself spoke about autonomous weapons systems at the board’s meeting on 7 March and encouraged its members to continue looking at what Read more...

European Parliament resolution a first

February 27, 2014

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the use of armed drones that includes a call for a ban on killer robots. The resolution sponsored by the Greens/European Free Alliance group of Members of the European Parliament with cross-party support, passed by a vote of 534–49 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 27 February. The Read more...

‘RoboCop’ hits the right messages

February 18, 2014

On February 12, a much-anticipated remake of the 1987 film Robocop opened in movie theatres across the United States. Both the original and remake portray the transformation of a policeman in the future into a man-machine hybrid, but the remake also provides some compelling messages for emerging efforts to control fully autonomous weapons in the real Read more...

Infographic by Action on Armed Violence

January 20, 2014

Action on Armed Violence–a member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots–has published the following infographic on fully autonomous weapons and the growing international movement to ban the weapons. Read more...

Our first year of campaigning

December 20, 2013

The diplomatic agreement reached by nations on November 15 to begin addressing concerns about fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” was the most significant milestone to date for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which is working to ensure that targeting and attack decisions are never relinquished to machines. It capped off what has been a Read more...

UN wants action on killer robot concerns

December 8, 2013

In his tenth report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict issued on 22 November 2013, United Nations Secretary-General has called for international action to address the concerns over fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots.’ The remarks are the latest in a string of statements that United Nations (UN) officials have made on the Read more...

High-level outreach in Italy

November 25, 2013

Italy’s top political leadership has been briefed by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and Italian non-governmental organizations on the need for the government to support the call for a ban on fully autonomous weapons and play an active role in international efforts to address the weapons. The outreach in effect marks Read more...

Nations agree to take on killer robots!

November 15, 2013

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the historic decision taken by nations to begin international discussions on how to address the multiple challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons. It marks the beginning of a process that the campaign believes should lead to an international ban on these weapons to ensure there is always meaningful human Read more...

Seize the opportunity for action

November 13, 2013

States should seize the opportunity to take international action to prevent the creation of fully autonomous robot weapons. On Friday, 15 November at the United Nations in Geneva, States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) will decide whether to take up the issue of these future weapons that, once activated, would select and engage targets Read more...

More states speak out at UN

October 30, 2013

The 2013 session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security has seen a number of states speak for the first time about fully autonomous weapons, with many urging international talks. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots addressed the First Committee for the first time on 29 October and called on states to Read more...

Campaigning at the UN in New York

October 23, 2013

At the newly refurbished United Nations in New York this month, there have been several signs that momentum is building behind calls for international talks on fully autonomous weapons, also known as “lethal autonomous robots” or “killer robots.” The evidence that this issue has arrived could be seen everywhere during the UN General Assembly First Committee on Read more...

It’s Time for International Talks

October 21, 2013

At an event at the United Nations in New York today (Monday, 21 October), representatives of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urged all nations to agree to begin international talks aimed at preventing the creation of fully autonomous robot weapons that, once activated, would select and engage targets without human intervention. Read more...

Scientists call for a ban

October 16, 2013

The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), a founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, has issued a statement endorsed by more than 270 engineers, computing and artificial intelligence experts, roboticists, and professionals from related disciplines that calls for a ban on fully autonomous weapons. In the statement, 272 experts from 37 countries say that, “given Read more...

Building awareness in Sweden

October 6, 2013

A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sweden including Civil Rights Defenders, Svenska Freds (Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, SPAS), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Sweden are campaigning for the government to support the call to ban fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots,” known in Swedish as mördarrobotarna. In a Read more...

France convenes seminar at the UN

September 26, 2013

On 3 September 2013, France in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs held a seminar for interested governments and civil society on fully autonomous weapons systems. The 90-minute event was held in the grand Council Chamber at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva, in the same room where the Conference on Read more...

German support builds for the ban

September 20, 2013

Following significant outreach by non-governmental organizations, German politicians and officials are beginning to commit to the call to ban fully autonomous weapons, known as vollständig autonome waffen or kampfroboter.  A poll of political parties participating in the 2013 federal election shows that Germany’s next government will likely engage actively on this issue in the years ahead, including Read more...

Norwegian campaign gets underway

September 7, 2013

Interest in tackling fully autonomous weapons is growing in Norway with events in Oslo on 4 September, where campaigners outlined civil society concerns and called on the government and opposition parties to articulate their policy on banning the weapons. Read more...

ICRC on new technologies and warfare

August 6, 2013

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued a new edition of its quarterly journal International Review of the Red Cross, focused on new technologies and warfare and featuring articles by several members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots: Dr. Peter Asaro of ICRAC on banning autonomous weapons systems, Prof. Noel Sharkey of ICRAC Read more...

United Kingdom debating killer robots

June 17, 2013

Representatives from both sides of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom agree that fully autonomous weapons raise numerous concerns warranting further deliberation, including at the international level. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, however emphasized that the government does not support the call for a moratorium on these Read more...

Consensus: killer robots must be addressed

May 28, 2013

On 30 May 2013 in Geneva, nations for the first time ever debated what to do about fully autonomous weapons at the United Nations Human Rights Council following the presentation of the report on ‘lethal autonomous robotic weapons’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Read more...

UN report on lethal autonomous robotics

April 30, 2013

The United Nations (UN) report calling for a global moratorium on lethal autonomous robotics, weapons systems that can select and kill targets without a human being directly issuing a command, will be considered this week in Geneva. The report is due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the afternoon of Wednesday, May 29 by its author Professor Read more...

Campaign launch in London

April 26, 2013

This week saw the launch of the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in London with a series of events to brief activists, media, and parliamentarians. A conference for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), held at the Human Rights Action Centre on Monday, April 22, was attended by about 65 campaigners from 30 NGOs. The activists provided input and guidance on Read more...

Our campaign and call to action

April 23, 2013

On April 23, a news conference was held at the Frontline in London to publicly launch the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. In its first public statement, the campaign called for urgent action to preemptively ban lethal robot weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without any human intervention. Read more...

NGO Conference

April 22, 2013

On Monday, April 22, the Steering Committee of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots convened a day-long conference at the Human Rights Action Centre in London for representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss the new initiative to pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons. Read more...

New US policy

April 16, 2013

On 21 November 2012, the Department of Defense of the United States issued its first-ever policy on autonomy in weapons systems, requiring that a human always be “in-the-loop” when decisions are made about using lethal force. Read more...

A Call to Engineers

March 1, 2013

On behalf of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), roboticist Noel Sharkey has issued a call to engineers to “stand up and demand the prohibition of autonomous lethal targeting by robots.” In a piece published by The Engineer, Sharkey says the call to engineers is made “because you are the ones who know Read more...