Over the past decade, the expanded use of unmanned armed vehicles has dramatically changed warfare, bringing new humanitarian and legal challenges. Now rapid advances in technology are resulting in efforts to develop fully autonomous weapons. These robotic weapons would be able to choose and fire upon targets on their own, without any meaningful human control. This capability would pose a fundamental challenge to the protection of civilians and to compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law.
Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield is an unacceptable application of technology. Human control of any combat robot is essential to ensuring both humanitarian protection and effective legal control.
Agreement is needed now to establish controls on these weapons before investments, technological momentum, and new military doctrine make it difficult to change course.
Prohibitions and regulations on autonomous weapons—weapons systems that would select and engage targets on the basis of sensor inputs, not by humans—are urgently needed. This could be achieved through an international treaty, as well as through national laws and other measures.
Civil society has come together to establish the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an global coalition of non-governmental organisations and academic partners that is working to secure a treaty on fully autonomous weapons,
in order to retain meaningful human control over the use of force. All interested NGOs are encouraged to endorse this call to stop killer robots and join the global coalition.
How to Join
Any non-governmental organisation is eligible to join the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. There is no joining fee or annual
membership fee, although contributions of funding, time, and expertise are welcome. Applicants are requested to:
Endorse the call for a treaty on autonomous weapons to ensure meaningful human control over the use of force;
Agree to follow the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots Membership Agreement and Code of Conduct;
Steering Committee: Amnesty International, Article 36, Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Human Rights Watch, International Committee for Robot Arms Control, Mines Action Canada, PAX, SEHLAC, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
I support a ban on fully autonomous weapons (optional)