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Statement by Human Rights Watch on Human Control and International Humanitarian Law to the Convention on Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts, Geneva

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to speak to your question about precedent for the relationship between human control and international humanitarian law. Disarmament law and international humanitarian law have a history of banning weapons over which there is no human control. A 1907 Hague Convention banning sea mines covered all sea mines unless they “become harmless one hour . . . after the person who laid them ceases to control them.” This exception suggested that sea mines are unacceptably dangerous without human control. The more recent Mine Ban Treaty follows a similar pattern. It bans…

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