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The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Humanitarian Drones

  • John R. Emery
Extract

What comes to mind when we hear the word “drone”? For many of us, it is the image of a General Atomics MQ-1B Predator drone launching a Hellfire missile at a suspected militant target. But is this picture beginning to change? Should this picture change?

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References
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NOTES

1 Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora and Lohne, Kjersti, “The Rise of the Humanitarian Drone: Giving Content to an Emerging Concept,” Millennium—Journal of International Studies 43, no. 1 (2014), pp. 145–64. On lethal drones, see Brooks, Rosa, “Drones and the International Rule of Law,” Ethics & International Affairs 28, no. 1 (2014), pp. 83103 .

2 In order to avoid excessive citations, all expository information gathered concerning the technical details of UAVs and companies producing them has been retrieved from the company websites unless otherwise cited.

3 Jason Dorrier, “Pilots Need Not Apply: Matternet Launches Autonomous Drone Delivery System,” Singularity HUB, April 7, 2015, singularityhub.com/2015/04/07/pilots-need-not-apply-matternet-launches-autonomous-drone-delivery-system/.

4 See Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle, “About the RQ-4B & MQ-4C,” Aeroweb, June 8, 2015, www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/RQ-4-Global-Hawk.html; and Aaron Mehta, “USAF Looks to Global Hawk Upgrades,” Defense News, March 7, 2015, www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/isr/2015/03/07/global-hawk-looks-to-future-upgrades/24120821/.

5 Adam Klaptocz, “Mapping the Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan,” Drone Adventures website, May 2014, blog.droneadventures.org/post/85863359885/mapping-the-philippines-after-typhoon-haiyan.

6 Emanuele Lubrano, “What Drone-Sourced Maps Have Brought to Haiti,” Drone Adventures website, July 2014, blog.droneadventures.org/post/91252234110/what-drone-sourced-maps-have-brought-to-haiti.

7 OCHA, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response (Policy Development and Studies Branch, June 2014).

8 “Drones For Humanitarian Aid,” senseFly website, www.sensefly.com/applications/humanitarian.html.

9 Ibid.

10 “Innovating to Fight Tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea,” Doctors Without Borders website, November 14, 2014, www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/innovating-fight-tuberculosis-papua-new-guinea.

11 Esha Chhabra, “Drones for Good: Projects From Around the World on How Drones Can Help Us,” Forbes, February 27, 2015.

12 Drew Boyd, “Humanitarian Drones: Perceptions vs. Reality in Kenya's Tana Delta,” Sentinel Project website, November 18, 2014, thesentinelproject.org/2014/11/18/humanitarian-drones-perceptions-vs-reality-in-kenyas-tana-delta/.

13 OCHA, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response.

14 “Issues & Policy,” AUVSI website, www.auvsi.org/auvsi/advocacy/ (accessed May 24, 2015).

15 “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations. Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate,” 113th Congress, First Session, March 20, 2013, www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CHRG-113shrg81775.pdf.

16 A full copy of the leaked AUVSI PowerPoint presentation is available at www.republicreport.org/2012/drone-powerpoint-lobby-plan/.

17 Ibid.

18 OCHA, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response.

19 “UN Peacekeeping Chief Wants More Drones,” Al Jazeera, May 30, 2014, www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/05/un-peacekeeping-chief-wants-more-drones-201453045212978750.html.

20 Karlsrud, John and Rosén, Frederik, “In the Eye of the Beholder? UN and the Use of Drones to Protect Civilians,” Stability: International Journal of Security & Development 2 no. 2 (2013), www.stabilityjournal.org/article/view/94.

21 “Joint INGO Position on Humanitarian Use of UAVs,” ReliefWeb, July 16, 2014, reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/joint-ingo-position-humanitarian-use-uavs.

22 OCHA, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response.

23 Elizabeth Malloy, “Relief From Above,” Inside Aerospace (April 2014), www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/GlobalHawk/Documents/Relief_From_Above.pdf.

24 Madiha Tahir, “The Drone Lobby's Image Problem,” Al Jazeera, March 22, 2014, www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/02/drone-lobby-image-problem-2014225114616766109.html.

25 Whetham, David, “Drones to Protect,” International Journal of Human Rights 19, no. 2 (2015), pp. 199210 .

26 Ibid., p. 208.

27 Patrick Tucker, “Here Are Some Robots We Could Use to Fight Ebola in Africa,” Defense One, October 21, 2014, www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/10/here-are-some-robots-we-could-use-fight-ebola-africa/97100/.

28 Kelsey D. Atherton, “The Week in Drones: Drones Fight Ebola, Iranian Dogfighters, and More,” Popular Science, September 26, 2014, www.popsci.com/article/science/week-drones-drones-fight-ebola-iranian-dogfighters-and-more.

29 “Ebola Outbreak,” PBS Frontline, September 9, 2014, www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/ebola-outbreak/.

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Ethics & International Affairs
  • ISSN: 0892-6794
  • EISSN: 1747-7093
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