Digitalization and New Technologies

Are new means and methods of warfare compatible with existing international humanitarian law (IHL) rules? What challenges do big data and artificial intelligence (AI) pause to human rights? How to ensure the right to privacy and protection of the private sphere in times of war and peace?

New technologies, digitalization, and big data are reshaping our societies and the way they organize. While technological advancements present tremendous opportunities and promises, rapid developments in AI, automation or robotics raise a series of questions about their impact in times of peace and war.

Our research in this domain explores whether these new developments are compatible with existing rules and whether international human rights law and IHL continue to provide the level of protection they are meant to ensure.


Past projects


Human Rights in the Digital Age

Completed in June 2020

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Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Completed in May 2017

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The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

Completed in May 2016

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Non-Kinetic-Energy Weapons

Completed in December 2011

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Related News and Events

Businessman using his lapto News

Experts Discuss the Humanitarian and Societal Impact of Military Cyber Operations

1 March 2021

At an online workshop – one of the first steps of a research project on the humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts – cyber experts discussed the humanitarian and societal impact of military cyber operations.

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A military types on a computer News

New Research Initiative Addresses the Digitalization of Armed Conflict

13 October 2020

A new research project, carried out in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross, will explore the humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these are addressed international humanitarian law.

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Photo of an art installation: The installation is made up of robots with eyes. When a user begins to interact with their smartphone, one of the robot eyes opens and begins looking around the room. When the interaction is over, the eye closes again. News

New Models of Governance Must Address the Human Rights Challenges Raised by Artificial Intelligence

2 March 2020

Our New Research Brief Human Rights and the Governance of Artificial Intelligence discusses the opportunities and risks that AI represents for human rights, recalls that international human rights law should occupy a central place in the governance of AI and outlines two additional avenues to regulation: public procurement and standardization.

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