• The United Kingdom’s Taranis combat aircraft, whose prototype was unveiled in 2010, is designed to strike distant targets, “even in another continent.” While the Ministry of Defence has stated that humans will remain in the loop, the Taranis exemplifies the move toward increased autonomy.

    Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict.

Reports

Arms

  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Oct 20, 2014
    Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October, 2014. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.
  • Oct 9, 2014
  • Oct 6, 2014
    On his way to the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York last month, President Barack Obama stopped at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he announced a ban on U.S. use of antipersonnel landmines everywhere except the Korean Peninsula due to its “unique circumstances.” He pledged, “We’re going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” as the U.S. government prefers to call the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
  • Oct 6, 2014
    Two recent policy statements bring the United States closer to aligning its policy with the 1997 treaty banning landmines, Human Rights Watch said today in issuing a question-and-answer document about the policy changes.
  • Oct 3, 2014
    On September 23, 2014, the United States government announced a new policy with a commitment not to use antipersonnel landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula and not to assist, encourage, or induce other nations to use, stockpile, produce, or transfer antipersonnel mines outside of Korea. On June 27, the US announced a policy foreswearing future production or acquisition of antipersonnel landmines. It said the Defense Department will conduct a detailed study of alternatives to antipersonnel mines and the impact of making no further use of the weapon.
  • Sep 24, 2014

    Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports.

  • Sep 24, 2014
    One year ago, as the Human Rights Council was debating the report of the Independent Expert on Sudan, Sudanese security forces were violently cracking down on popular protests that swept the country after the president announced the lifting of oil subsidies.
  • Sep 24, 2014
    Human Rights Watch has repeatedly welcomed the release by OHCHR of its detailed reports and we praise the important work of the UN human rights monitoring mission throughout the country. As highlighted in these reports, we are alarmed at the failure by all parties to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine to protect civilians.
  • Sep 23, 2014
    The Obama administration’s commitment to stop using antipersonnel landmines anywhere in the world except in the Korean Peninsula is a positive step, but doesn’t go far enough to join the Mine Ban Treaty, Human Rights Watch said today.