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.
Walking through the streets of the Hundiciones community in Colinas, Honduras is a treat for the senses. There is no one who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread. Maribel Sagastume’s bakery is already famous in the community and has become a go-to place for everybody, not only for the rich aroma of her creations, but also for the variety of bake-goods she offers her clientele.
Maribel’s business was born as part of the Climate Risk Reduction and Adaptation Project, an initiative of the Honduran Red Cross that helps more than 75,000 families in the department of Santa Barbara who face constant risks from disasters such as floods and landslides that can wipe out entire crops and livelihoods.
The initiative, which also gets support from the Italian Red Cross, seeks to improve land use capacity for cultivation, consolidate community structures for disaster prevention and to make the response more effective. It also aims to strengthen the community volunteer network in risk management and health. Through ten years of implementation, the project has helped empower communities, municipalities and educational centres to learn how to respond more effectively to emergencies and disasters.