The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been trundling along all summer sharing our message, reaching out to governments and gaining new supporters.
There have been some exciting and important developments over the summer. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched the newest edition of the International Review of the Red Cross and the theme is New Technologies and Warfare. A number of campaigners contributed to the journal so it is definitely worth a read. The ICRC also published a Frequently Asked Questions document on autonomous weapons that helps explain the issue and the ICRC’s position on fully autonomous weapons.
France along with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in Geneva convened a seminar on fully autonomous weapons for governments and civil society in early September. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots had campaigners taking part and you can read the full report on the global campaign’s website.
The campaigns in Germany and Norway are starting off strong as well. In the lead up to the German election, all the major parties shared their policy positions in regards to fully autonomous weapons with our colleagues at Facing Finance. Norwegian campaigners launched their campaign with a breakfast seminar and now they are waiting to hear what the new Norwegian government’s policy on fully autonomous weapons will be.
Like our colleagues in Norway, we’re still waiting to hear what Canada’s policy on fully autonomous weapons will be. We have written to the Ministers of National Defense and of Foreign Affairs but the campaign team has not yet heard back. In the meantime, Canadians can weigh in on the topic through our new online petition. Share and sign the petition today! This petition is the first part of a new initiative that will be coming your way in a few weeks. Keep your eye out for the news and until then keep sharing the petition so that the government knows that Canadians have concerns about fully autonomous weapons and believe that Canada should have a strong policy against them.
EDIT: We had a very human moment here and forgot to include congratulations to James Foy of Vancouver for winning the 2013 Canadian Bar Association’s National Military Law Section Law School Sword and Scale Essay Prize for his essay called Autonomous Weapons Systems: Taking the Human out of International Humanitarian Law. It is great to see law students looking at this new topic and also wonderful that the Canadian Bar Association recognized the importance of this issue. Congratulations James!