Autonomous weapon systems

Autonomous weapons are not a work of science fiction from a distant dystopian future. They are an immediate cause of humanitarian concern and demand an urgent, international political response.

Increasingly, weapons are being developed and deployed – in the air, on land and at sea – that select and engage targets without human intervention. The unconstrained development and use of autonomous weapon systems poses serious legal, ethical and humanitarian challenges.

To help prevent risks to people affected by war and uphold crucial protections, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recommended that states adopt new, international legally binding rules to prohibit unpredictable autonomous weapons and those designed or used to apply force against persons, and to place strict restrictions on all others.