The deployment of emerging military technologies – drones, cyberweapons, automated and autonomous robots and nano-weapons – are frequently described as “game changers” for future conflict. While they may ensure more precise targeting, be more cost effective and spare the financial and human costs of “putting boots on the ground”, they may also lower the threshold for the use of force and muddle issues of legal accountability. So far, most of the attention has been directed at how international humanitarian law applies to these technologies, including how the arms control regime (article 36) applies.

This research seminar, which focuses on both armed drones and surveillance drones, is the first in a series of seminars aiming to identify issues for further scholarly work on how international human rights law applies to emergent military technology. The discussion will include perspectives on the use of drones in conflicts, and for peace-keeping and law enforcement purposes.


10:00 Introduction: Why refocusing towards human rights? (Kristin B. Sandvik)

10:05 Killer drones and other drones: A mapping of political and scholarly debates so far (Kristin B. Sandvik)

10:15 War: the drone wars - From IHL landscape to human rights violations (Gentian Zyberi)

10:35 Drones in peacekeeping and peace-enforcement: Identifying human rights issues (Kjetil Mujezinovic Larsen)

10:55 The militarization of policing: What are the issues? (Anna Andersson)

11:15 Dual technology transfers: Human rights and arms control (Alexander Harang)

11:35 Panel Discussion

11:55 Wrap up and final remarks

12:00 End of seminar


This event is organized by PRIO, in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS) and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR).

Please note that seating is limited for this seminar.