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A-HRC-23-47_en

A-HRC-23-47_en

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A-HRC-23-47_en
A-HRC-23-47_en

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Published by: samlagrone on May 03, 2013
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04/19/2014

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GE.13-12776
Human Rights Council
Twenty-third session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,political, economic, social and cultural rights,including the right to development
Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns
Summary
Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) are weapon systems that, once activated, canselect and engage targets without further human intervention. They raise far-reachingconcerns about the protection of life during war and peace. This includes the question of theextent to which they can be programmed to comply with the requirements of internationalhumanitarian law and the standards protecting life under international human rights law.Beyond this, their deployment may be unacceptable because no adequate system of legalaccountability can be devised, and because robots should not have the power of life anddeath over human beings. The Special Rapporteur recommends that States establishnational moratoria on aspects of LARs, and calls for the establishment of a high level panelon LARs to articulate a policy for the international community on the issue.
United Nations
A
/HRC/23/47
General Assembly
Distr.: General9 April 2013Original: English
 
A/HRC/23/472
 
Contents
 Paragraphs Page
 I. Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1 3II. Activities of the Special Rapporteur ....................................................................... 2
 – 
25 3A. Communications ............................................................................................ 2
 – 
3 3B. Visits ............................................................................................................... 4
 – 
6 3C. Press releases .................................................................................................. 7
 – 
15 3D. International and national meetings ................................................................ 16
 – 
24 4E. Intended future areas of research .................................................................... 25 5III. Lethal autonomous robotics and the protection of life ........................................... 26
 – 
108 5A. The emergence of LARs ................................................................................. 37
 – 
56 7B. LARs and the decision to go to war or otherwise use force ............................ 57
 – 
62 11C. The use of LARs during armed conflict ......................................................... 63
 – 
74 12D. Legal responsibility for LARs ........................................................................ 75
 – 
81 14E. The use of LARs by States outside armed conflict ......................................... 82
 – 
85 16F. Implications for States without LARs ............................................................. 86
 – 
88 16G. Taking human decision-making out of the loop ............................................. 89
 – 
97 16H. Other concerns ................................................................................................ 98
 – 
99 18I. LARs and restrictive regimes on weapons ...................................................... 100
 – 
108 19IV. Conclusions ............................................................................................................. 109
 – 
112 20V. Recommendations ................................................................................................... 113
 – 
126 21A. To the United Nations ..................................................................................... 113
 – 
115 21B. To regional and other inter-governmental organizations ............................... 116
 – 
117 22C. To States ........................................................................................................ 118
 – 
121 22D. To developers of robotic systems ................................................................... 122 22E. To NGOs, civil society and human rights groups and the ICRC ................... 123
 – 
126 22
 
A/HRC/23/473
 
I. Introduction
1.
 
The annual report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary andarbitrary executions, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to its Resolution17/5, focuses on lethal autonomous robotics and the protection of life.
1
 
II. Activities of the Special Rapporteur
A. Communications
2.
 
The present report covers communications sent by the Special Rapporteur between16 March 2012 and 28 February 2013, and replies received between 1 May 2012 and 30April 2013. The communications and responses from Governments are included in thefollowing communications reports of special procedures: A/HRC/21/49; A/HRC/22/67 andA/HRC/23/51.3.
 
Observations on the communications sent and received during the reporting periodare reflected in an addendum to the present report (A/HRC/23/47/Add.5).
B. Visits
4.
 
The Special Rapporteur visited Turkey from 26 to 30 November 2012 and will visitMexico from 22 April to 2 May 2013.5.
 
The Government of Mali has accepted the Special Rapporteur‟s visit requests and
the Syrian Arab Republic views his proposal to visit the country positively. The SpecialRapporteur thanks these Governments and encourages the Governments of Sri Lanka, theRepublic of Madagascar and Pakistan to accept his pending requests for a visit.6.
 
Follow-up reports on missions undertaken by the previous mandate holder toEcuador and Albania are contained in documents A/HRC/23/47/Add.3 andA/HRC/23/47/Add.4 respectively.
C. Press releases
2
 
7.
 
On 15 June 2012, the Special Rapporteur issued a joint statement with the SpecialRapporteur on torture deploring the escalation of violence in the Syrian Arab Republic andcalled on all parties to renounce violence and lay down arms.8.
 
The Special Rapporteur issued several press releases with other mandate holdersamongst others concerning aspects related to the right to life of human rights defenders inHonduras on 4 April 2012 and 1 October 2012; the Philippines, on 9 July 2012; and on 21June 2012, he issued a press release to urge world governments, the international
1
The assistance of Tess Borden, Thompson Chengeta, Jiou Park and Jeff Dahlberg in writing thisreport is acknowledged with gratitude. The European University Institute is also thanked for hostingan expert consultation in February 2013, as well as the Global Justice Clinic, the Centre for HumanRights and Global Justice, and Professor Sarah Knuckey of New York University School of Law for  preparing background materials and hosting an expert consultation in October 2012.
2
Press releases of the Special Rapporteur are available fromwww.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/NewsSearch.aspx?MID=SR_Summ_Executions. 

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