Campaigners call on states to start work developing new international law

The United Nations is hosting a week-long meeting on ‘lethal autonomous weapons systems’, also known as killer robots.

Although fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet in operation, a number of states are well underway with research and testing of autonomous weapons technologies.

Already, several states including the UK, are using systems with increased autonomy, representing a recent trend towards weapons systems that require less human control and oversight.

“It should be obvious that the use of any weapons must remain under human control,” said Thomas Nash, Director of Article 36, and a co-founder of the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

“The task ahead now for all countries is to get down to work and enshrine the principle of meaningful human control in new international law”.

“Fully autonomous weapons need to be banned before nations go down that road,” Nash added.

The meeting will take place in Geneva from 13-17 April, under the chair of the German ambassador Michael Biontino, and is part of informal discussions of the weapons treaty – the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

This is the second round of talks, after the first expert meeting which took place in May 2014.

Article 36 is a UK-based weapons monitoring organisation, and a member of the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.



New publication by Article 36 (April 2015): Killing by machine: Key issues for understanding meaningful human control

Article 36 briefing note on the UK and killer robots (March 2015)

UN page on the conference


For comment or interviews please contact:
Laura Boillot, +44(0)7515-575-175, (in Geneva)
Thomas Nash, +44(0)7711-926-730, (in Geneva)
@Article36 @BanKillerRobots

Posted in: Autonomous weapons, Press releases,