Stop Killer Robots
CWS supports the international campaign for a new treaty to ban and regulate Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) also known as killer robots. We support the development of legislation in Parliament for a domestic ban in Aotearoa New Zealand.
CWS supports the prohibition of the development, production and use of AWS and the maintenance of meaningful human control over weapons systems. The use of AWS risks delegating life-and-death decision-making to algorithms, removing accountability, and undermining human dignity and life.
What are killer robots?
Killer robots, a.k.a. AWS or LAWS (short for Lethal Autonomous Weapons) are weapons that could, without meaningful human control, select and attack targets.
Do they already exist?
AWS are under development in a number of countries. Some existing weapons systems could be programmed to remove meaningful human control. AWS could be readily adapted for law enforcement.
What are some current efforts to stop killer robots?
Read the report of the recent UN review.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) advocates for a ban on AWS. It released a Killer Robots Campaign Guide for Churches which provides a theological underpinning for why we should prohibit AWS. Download and share it with your church.
The international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is a global coalition of 180+ non-governmental organisations (NGOs) advocating for new international law to prohibit AWS and maintain meaningful human control of weapons systems. It advocates within such multilateral fora as the United Nations’ Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and works with civil society to push local decision-makers such as Members of Parliament to support bans on AWS. Watch their short film, Immoral Code
The New Zealand Government has committed to international efforts to ban and regulate killer robots.
CWS as a member of the Aotearoa Campaign to Stop Killer Robots advocates for domestic action (in addition to international action) to prohibit the development, production and use of AWS in Aotearoa. CWS made a submission in support of a joint petition to government calling for the prohibition and regulation of AWS in New Zealand.
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to support efforts to stop killer robots.
- Speak with your MP – let them know why prohibiting and regulating AWS is important to you and why the government should take action in Aotearoa.
- Sign up to the mailing list of the Aotearoa Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to hear about opportunities for action.
- Talk about it! Tell your friends and workmates about Killer Robots and how there is a movement advocating for the prohibition and regulation of these weapons. We can stop them.
- If you’re part of a church or a community action group, speak with your members and see how your community can raise awareness of Killer Robots (check out the WCC guide). Plan how you could advocate for action in New Zealand.
Help Ban Cluster Bombs
CWS is a member of the Aotearoa/New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, part of a global movement calling for a total ban of cluster munitions.
Cluster munitions, also called cluster bombs, are now the conventional weapons that pose the gravest danger to civilian populations. They can be fired from air or land-based artillery and then fragment into small bomblets – sometimes hundreds of submunitions. They spread indiscriminately over a large uncontrollable area and are unable to distinguish between military targets and civilians.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition – www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz – is part of the global Cluster Munition Coalition – www.stopclustermunitions.org – an international network of over 200 organisations in 50 countries working together to pressure governments to conclude an international treaty banning cluster munitions. Help ban cluster munitions. The Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition provides regular actions that you can take to ban cluster munitions. See http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz/take-action
Images: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey