• Many urgent arms-related challenges should be addressed to protect civilians affected by conflict and its deadly legacy.  Antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions have been prohibited outright, but the ban treaties need to be universalized and complied with fully.  Militaries use a wide-range of explosive weapons—artillery, rockets, mortars, air-delivered bombs and more—in populated areas, frequently causing indiscriminate harm to civilians. Incendiary weapons cause painful and cruel injuries, yet they continue to be used. The development of fully autonomous weapons—“killer robots”—that could select and engage targets without human intervention need to be stopped to prevent a future of warfare and policing outside of human control and responsibility. Human Rights Watch investigates these and other problematic weapons systems and works to develop and monitor international standards to protect civilians from armed violence.

  • The next generation of weapons in military arsenals could be "killer robots," machines that would select and destroy specific targets without further human intervention. But if a robot broke the law, who would be held responsible? Would the programmer, manufacturer, military commander, or robot end up in court?
    Programmers, manufacturers, and military personnel could all escape liability for unlawful deaths and injuries caused by fully autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report was issued in advance of a multilateral meeting on the weapons at the United Nations in Geneva.

Reports

Arms