The launch of a new international campaign to ban fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’.


Fully autonomous weapons are already in development in several countries and could be deployed in the next 20 years. These weapons would select and attack targets without human intervention giving machines the power to decide who lives or dies on the battlefield and raise serious moral and legal concerns.


Ms. Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate

Prof. Noel Sharkey, Chair of the International Committee on Robot Arms Control

Mr. Steve Goose, Director of the Arms Division, Human Rights Watch

Mr. Thomas Nash, Director of Article 36 (press briefing chair)


Tuesday 23 April

10.30-11.30           News conference

13.45-14.15           Photo opportunity


News conference at the Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ, Tuesday 23 April at 10.30

(Closest tube stations: Paddington, Edgware Road and Lancaster Gate)

Photo opportunity with human-sized talking robot, campaign spokespersons and parliamentarians at Parliament Square, City of Westminster, London SW1P opposite the Houses of Parliament, Tuesday 23 April at 13.45

(Closest tube stations: Westminster)


For more information and interview requests, contact:

In London: Laura Boillot, Article 36, +44 (0)7515-575-175 or laura@article36.org

In Washington DC: Kate Castenson or Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch, +1 (202) 612 4351 or + 1 (646) 203 8292 or castenk@hrw.org



The following campaign spokespersons will be speaking at the campaign’s launch events and are available for interview on request.

Jody WilliamsNobel Women’s Initiative, @JodyWilliams97 @NobelWomen

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize. In January 2006, Jody established the Nobel Women’s Initiative together with five of her sister Nobel Peace laureates. In March 2013, the University of California Press published a memoir on her work as a grassroots activist entitled My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize. Williams can speak on why civil society is coming together and partnering with other actors to pursue a pre-emptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. Longer biography available here: http://bit.ly/JKVvBd

Noel Sharkey – International Committee for Robot Arms Control, @StopTheRobotWar

Roboticist Noel Sharkey is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield. He is co-founder and chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), a group of experts concerned with the pressing dangers that military robots pose to peace and international security. Sharkey can speak on the technology that the campaign is seeking to prohibit. See also: http://bit.ly/9fJQ7j

Steve Goose – Human Rights Watch, @hrw

Steve Goose is executive director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch and chair of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC). Goose and Human Rights Watch were instrumental in bringing about the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, the 1997 international treaty banning antipersonnel mines, the 1995 protocol banning blinding lasers, and the 2003 protocol on explosive remnants of war. Goose can speak on why a ban on fully autonomous weapons is necessary and achievable, and explain current US policy and practice. See also: http://bit.ly/USEBZo

Thomas Nash – Article 36, @nashthomas @article36

Thomas Nash is director of Article 36 and joint coordinator of the International Network on Explosive Weapons. As Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition from 2004 to 2011, Nash led the global civil society efforts to secure the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Nash can speak about civil society expectations of UK policy, practice, and diplomacy on fully autonomous weapons.

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