New paper on drones launched at UN in New York

Published 17 October 2016

On 17 October, the paper ‘Towards a European Position on the Use of Armed Drones? A Human Rights Approach’, authored by Asser researchers/ICCT research fellows Christophe Paulussen and Bérénice Boutin and former Asser researcher, ICCT associate fellow and PAX program officer Jessica Dorsey, was launched in the context of the UN General Assembly 1st Committee’s (disarmament) deliberations in New York. The paper presents and builds on the outcomes of an April 2016 expert meeting on human rights implications of the use of armed drones, at which a number of issues highlighted in a previous ICCT paper surveying European Union Member States’ positions on armed drones and targeted killing were discussed. The paper examines targeted killings in light of human rights law; the precise requirements of transparency, oversight and accountability; and European countries’ human rights obligations when assisting other countries in drone strikes, e.g., through intelligence sharing. The authors’ conclusions include observations on the need for and possible ways to attain information, challenges for the use of armed drones generally, and legal challenges and recommendations.