Belgium votes to ban killer robots

Image: Het Belgische parlementsgebouw in Brussel

July 23, 2018

The Belgian parliament has voted to ban killer robots. The resolution, which passed with unanimous consent, calls on the Belgian government to forbid the Belgian military from using lethal autonomous weapons and to work toward an international treaty banning the weapons. The Belgian vote is an important step toward an international ban.

This is not the first time Belgium has played a leading role when it comes to disarmament. In 1996, Belgium was the first country to ban landmines and in 2006 was also the first to ban cluster munitions. These national laws played a crucial role during the negotiations toward international ban treaties.

PAX has been working, together with colleagues from Pax Christie Flanders, to get this resolution passed. PAX spoke at a hearing on autonomous weapons at the Federal Parliament in December 2017. PAX also works with Belgian scientists who spoke out for a ban last year.  More than 60% of Belgians are for a ban on killer robots, according to a recent poll published by Pax Christi Flanders.

UN diplomats will discuss killer robots in Geneva at the end of August. PAX and the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be there. 

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