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Curb on Killer robots

Published: 27th Dec, 2021


For the first time, the vast majority of the 125 countries that are signatories to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons declared their desire for restrictions on killer robots.


  • Autonomous weapon systems – commonly known as killer robots mean drones, guns, and bombs that decide on their own, with artificial brains, whether to attack and kill.
  • These systems are deadly weapon-wielding robots that are capable of autonomous operation, target selection, and assault without human intervention.
  • Militaries worldwide are investing heavily in autonomous weapons research and development.
  • The U.S. alone budgeted US$18 billion for autonomous weapons between 2016 and 2020.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

  • The Inhumane Weapons Convention is another name for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, or CCW.
  • Purpose: Prohibiting or restricting the use of particular weaponry that is seen to harm fighters needlessly or unjustifiably or to hurt civilians without distinction.
  • The Convention, together with its three appended protocols, was approved on October 10, 1980, and it became available for signing on April 10, 1981, for one year. The Convention came into effect on December 2, 1983, after being signed by fifty states in total.

Issues with autonomous weapons

  • The problem of misidentification
  • threaten the last line of defense put up by mankind against war crimes and horrors
  • lack of accountability
  • legal and moral challenge
  • Shifting blame game
  • The problems of low-end and high-end proliferation (autonomous weapons could get into the hands of people outside of government control, including international and domestic terrorists)

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