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The digitalization of warfare proceeds quickly, as witnessed during the international armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 or the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
A key question related to the increasing employment of digital technologies in warfare – artificial intelligence/machine learning, drones, swarms, or ‘human enhancement’ technologies – is whether the existing legal frameworks, including international humanitarian law (IHL), are up to the task when it comes to the efficacy of the law of armed conflict and the protection it affords.
Written by Dr Henning Lahmann, our new Working Paper The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer provides an overview of the various novel technologies that together form part of the ‘future digital battlefield’ and assesses some of the implications they have for humanitarian protection in armed conflict.
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Based on the discussions during a high-level expert workshop conducted in August 2021, the paper identifies five main aspects regarding humanitarian protection that merit further research:
Without attempting to provide definitive answers, the paper gives an overview of these issues and hints at possible legal solutions.
‘This paper frames the entire topic of our research project ‘Disruptive Military Technologies’ on a general level, identifies the most contentious legal issues, and thus serves as a very good basis for subsequent research we will carry out within this project’s scope’ explains Professor Marco Roscini, Swiss IHL Chair at the Geneva Academy.
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At a roundtable organised by Chatham House and hosted by our Geneva Human Rights Platform, experts addressed the role of human rights in AI governance.
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This side event at the margins of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council will discuss areas of progress as well as critical gaps in the international affirmation and protection of human rights in the digital age.
This online short course discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
This online short course will cover the ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementation, including national legislation, dissemination and training, and discuss the mechanisms such as the International Fact-Finding Commission, as set out in the treaties.
This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.
This project will facilitate a multistakeholder consultative process to identify knowledge gaps, generate new evidence and co-design evidence-based tools to support regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.