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Why New Law Is Needed and How It Can Be Achieved

The Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), scheduled to be held at the United Nations in Geneva from December 13-17, 2021, is a major juncture for international talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems. After…
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Common Visions for a Killer Robots Treaty

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to advancing Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), also known as fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots.” Before the global lockdown, states…
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Delegates

Introduction Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have always dictated how they are used. The evolution of technology has the potential to change that reality, and the implications are profoundly disturbing.…
Loss of Human Control
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12 Key Arguments for a Preemptive Ban on Fully Autonomous Weapons

The development of fully autonomous weapons, also known as “killer robots,” and the proposal to ban them preemptively have sparked impassioned debate at the international and national levels. Experts—including lawyers, ethicists, military specialists,…
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

International attention to the subject of fully autonomous weapons has grown rapidly over the past year.  These weapons, also called “lethal autonomous robots” or “killer robots,” would be able to identify and fire on targets without meaningful human…
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US Policy on Autonomy in Weapons Systems is First in the World

Introduction On November 21, 2012, the US Department of Defense issued its first public policy on autonomy in weapons systems. Directive Number 3000.09 (the Directive) lays out guidelines for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous…
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Around the globe, Human Rights Watch has documented the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Today, child soldiers are fighting in at least 14 countries: Afghanistan – Insurgent groups, including the Taliban and other armed groups, use…
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The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to kill civilians and abduct children in remote regions of central Africa at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Nearly three years after the LRA began its most current campaign of attacking villages and…
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SummaryBackgroundAnalysis of the Draft Anti-Terrorism Legislation     Defining Terrorism     Infringement of Freedoms of Speech and Expression     Expansion of Police Powers without Due Process Guarantees         Powers of Arrest, Search, and Seizure…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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Help us achieve universal ratification of the child soldiers treaty by writing the ambassadors for key countries. Although there are no exact figures, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective    The Commission on Human Rights should strengthen its monitoring of the abduction and military recruitment of children in armed conflict, and request the personal intervention of the Secretary-General in particularly egregious situations…
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A Briefing Paper to the U.N. Security Council

Liberia: Upsurge in Fighting and Humanitarian CrisisCôte d'Ivoire: On the PrecipiceGuineaSierra Leone    The Sierra Leone Special CourtProtection of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and ECOWAS NationalsChild SoldiersUse of Proxy Forces and Support…