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Shaking the Foundations: The Human Rights Implications of Killer Robots

This 26-page report considers the human rights law implications of fully autonomous weapons. The groups also issued the 27-page 12 Key Arguments.

Fully autonomous weapons, also called killer robots or lethal autonomous robots, do not yet exist, but weapons technology is moving rapidly toward greater autonomy. Fully autonomous weapons represent the step beyond remote-controlled armed drones. Unlike any existing weapons, these robots would identify and fire on targets without meaningful human intervention. They would therefore have the power to determine when to take human life.

This publication can be found on the Human Rights Watch website here.

Some of the limitations of fully autonomous weapons that raise concerns in the law enforcement context, such as the inability to identify with humans or exercise human judgment, could also interfere with the weapons’ compliance with international law during armed conflict.

Human Rights Watch

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