© 2012 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch
Killer Robots: Pre-emptive Ban Needed
Not for Publication Until:
10:01 in Washington, DC, November 19, 2012
15:01 GMT, Monday, November 19, 2012
(For Tuesday’s papers)
(Washington, DC, November 19, 2012) – Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These future weapons, sometimes called “killer robots,” would be able to choose and fire on targets without human intervention.
The 50-page report, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots”, outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.