It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.
“Please now come into the courtyard with your brooms ready,” the voice in the school public-address system booms through the school hallways. “It’s time to start the cleaning-up campaign to eliminate the mosquito.” A few minutes later, students are in the courtyard, sweeping up any trash where mosquitos might find even a small place to breed. More than 1,200 students in five schools of the Soyapango Municipality in Salvador are part of the ‘Mosquito seen, Mosquito Eliminated’ campaign, a project of the IFRC and the Salvadorean Red Cross Society in partnership with the ministries of health and education. The students divide into two groups: one that works inside the school and the other in nearby communities along with a teacher. “It is very important to clean up the sinks and the gutters on the roofs,” explains one student. Photo: Salvadorean Red Cross Society