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In welcome news, the Aotearoa New Zealand government has announced it will push for the adoption of new international law to prohibit and limit autonomous weapons systems. The policy commits New Zealand to play “a leadership role in building an…
The Broken Chair, a statue in support of the bans on landmines and cluster munitions, stands outside the United Nations in Geneva.
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A New York Times exposé on a previously undisclosed attack on dozens of noncombatants in Syria is indicative of DOD’s impunity.

Pentagon leadership cannot – or will not – fix its civilian casualties problem. It’s long past time for Congress to step in. On November 17, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “we are committed to protecting civilians and getting this right...We have…
A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.
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In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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The US government’s decision to “re-engage” with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that US President Joe Biden has promised. Yet key details remain to be worked out.…
The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
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The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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Diplomats at the United Nations Human Rights Council don’t expect someone allegedly associated with a death squad to be among their colleagues. Yet that is the situation confronting officials in Geneva since Sri Lanka’s new permanent…
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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News

Removing human control from the use of force is a grave threat to humanity that deserves urgent multilateral action

When the international debate over fully autonomous weapons began in 2013, a common question was whether robots or machines would perform better than humans. Could providing more autonomy in weapons systems result in greater accuracy and precision? Could…
Killer robots
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After Yemen’s 2011 uprising broke out, the country went through a series of political upheavals and cycles of violence that tore the country apart, including the start of a full-scale civil war in 2014 and the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in 2015…
Victims of Covid-19 are buried in Taizz, Yemen, June 24, 2020. (c) 2020 REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub
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Last year in Geneva, Iceland put the Philippines in the hot seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council for its murderous “war on drugs.” The boldness of a small country with no axe to grind against the Philippine government – acting solely…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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When the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force 10 years ago, on Aug. 1, 2010, it was seen as a major advance for protecting civilians both during and after armed conflict. The international treaty comprehensively bans cluster munitions…
A woman is carried by her brother outside a home in Malus, Yemen.
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  In early April, a photograph of three fighters on one of Tripoli’s front lines grabbed social media’s attention both for its poignancy and the absurdity of the situation. The photo was of three heavily armed men in full combat gear…
Three men in full combat gear wearing protective face masks against Covid-19, in Tripoli, Libya on March 25, 2020.
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Every year on March 8, Kazakhstan’s leaders commemorate International Women’s Day – a national holiday – in speeches praising women for their professional competitiveness and achievements, beauty, and “love for family values and…
Women, wearing traditional clothes, participate in Nowruz celebrations at the a Center in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 21, 2019.
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It shouldn’t take a series of brutal murders to prompt government action.

For women in Kyrgyzstan, 2020 has already been deadly. At least three women were killed by their husbands or partners in the first 14 days of the year. Their deaths resulted from abuse including kicks to the head, burns, stabbing and…
Burulai Turdaaly kyzy’s portrait on a building at the medical college she attended in Bishkek, November 2018.
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The Trump administration announced Friday that the United States will re-start using and producing antipersonnel landmines. The decision rolls back a 2014 policy by the Obama administration to ban U.S. production of…
“Selma,” pictured here, and her daughter, were injured in a border minefield. “Selma”’s leg was amputated as a result of the injury.