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 1 June 2020

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Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Completed in 1 May 2017

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The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

Completed in 31 May 2016

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Non-Kinetic-Energy Weapons

Completed in 31 December 2011

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Related News and Events

Silhouette in front of a screen Event

Building Blocks for Tech Regulation – A Business and Human Rights Approach

30 November 2021, 10:25-11:40

This panel at the 2021 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, co-organized with the OHCHR B-Tech project, will discuss the idea of a so-called ‘UNGPs check’ to inform the design of tech regulation.

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Computer screen with html code News

New Working Paper Discusses the Relevance of Smart Mix of Measure in AI Governance and Regulation

1 October 2021

Our new Working Paper discusses how current initiatives on the regulation of artificial intelligence technologies should incorporate the protection and respect for human rights.

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Engaging Policy Makers on Tech Regulation using the UNGPs

27 September 2021

To highlight the necessity of a human rights-based approach to regulatory efforts in the technology sector, we co-organized with the UN Human Rights B-Tech Project and the Centre for Democracy & Technology’s Europe Office a multi-stakeholder consultation attended by business, academia, civil society and state representatives.

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