May 28, 2013 defense-unmanned.com
(Source: United Nations Human Rights Council; issued April 28, 2013)
Report of the Special Rapporteur On Extrajudicial, Summary Or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns
Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) are weapon systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further human intervention. They raise far-reaching concerns about the protection of life during war and peace. This includes the question of the extent to which they can be programmed to comply with the requirements of international humanitarian law and the standards protecting life under international human rights law.
Beyond this, their deployment may be unacceptable because no adequate system of legal accountability can be devised, and because robots should not have the power of life and death over human beings. The Special Rapporteur recommends that States establish national moratoria on aspects of LARs, and calls for the establishment of a high level panel on LARs to articulate a policy for the international community on the issue.
Click here to read the report (22 PDF pages) on the OHCHR website.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This report will be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 29, 2013.)