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Watchdog Calls on States to Fast-Track Talks on New Treaty Banning Use of Autonomous Weapons Systems

© AFP 2021 / CARL COURTPeople look a mock "killer robot" in central London
People look a mock killer robot in central London - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.08.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Countries should start as soon as possible negotiations on a new treaty banning and restricting the use of autonomous weapons systems, known as "killer robots," a prominent international human rights organisation said on Monday.
"International law needs to be expanded to create new rules that ensure human control and accountability in the use of force," Bonnie Docherty, a Human Rights Watch senior arms researcher, said. "The fundamental moral, legal, and security concerns raised by autonomous weapons systems warrant a strong and urgent response in the form of a new international treaty."
According to the watchdog, most of nearly 100 countries, which publicly touched upon the issue, expressed their willingness to sign a ban treaty on "killer robots." However, several states, including Israel, Russia and the US, which heavily invest in the development of autonomous weapons systems, considered any steps to create new international law as "premature."
"Killer robots" represent a new type of warfare that "would violate human dignity" and "erode our humanity," as targeting people will be based on data collected and processed by machines, Docherty added.
The watchdog also demands creation of meaningful human control over autonomous weapons systems in order to ensure that operations with the use of such technologies are "constrained in space and time."
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