Most Dutch against killer robots

January 22, 2019

A large majority of Dutch people are against the development of killer robots according to a recent IPSOS survey. The signal to Dutch politicians is loud and clear: prevent these weapons from becoming a reality!

The poll, carried out in 26 countries, asked what people think of a weapon systems that can select and attack targets without human intervention. In total, an average of 61% are against fully autonomous weapons, more commonly known as killer robots. Sixty-eight percent of the Dutch are against killer robots, while only 12% are in favour. Elsewhere, the greatest opposition was in Turkey (78%) and South Korea (74%), whereas support for killer robots was greatest in India (50%) and Israel (41%).

The survey also asked the reason people are against killer robots. Of those in the Netherlands opposed to killer robots, 65% say these weapons cross a moral line — a machine should not make the decision to kill. Forty-eight percent say there oppose the weapons because no one could be held responsible if something went wrong, and 39% cited the possibility of technical failure.

Dutch parliament
On Monday, the Dutch House of Representatives held a roundtable discussion about killer robots. At the meeting, PAX Programme Director Miriam Struyk called on the Dutch government to take the lead in working towards an international ban. The IPSOS poll indicates that the Dutch people agree.

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