Medical Charity Report Analyses Health Impact of Drones, Calls for International Regulation

Last Friday Medact, a medical aid agency, issued a detailed and critical report on the public health and psycho-social impact of mliitary drones:

In the past, countries initiating war were mindful of the fact that their own compatriots could be killed or injured. Now, for the first time in history, it is possible to attack an enemy without fear of retaliation. Nations possessing the requisite technology can now eliminate an individual thousands of miles away, on the basis of a perceived threat.

Arguing that “international law has not kept pace with this technology”, Medact called on the UK government to work through the UN and other international institutions to “include drones in the development of arms limitation treaties, or to make them the subject of specific legislation to limit and eventually stop their development, use and proliferation.”

Marion Birch, co-author of the report and director of Medact, told The Guardian, “Drones are not only unacceptable from a human, moral and legal point of view, they are traumatising families and damaging the chances of peace. We believe it is time for the UK government to stop purchasing, developing and deploying armed drones.”

Earlier this month, I wrote a series of articles proposing a treaty to regulate robotic weapons, including drones. Based on the resulting conversations, I have been developing a more detailed proposal for a “Killer Robot Treaty“, which I update and change regularly as I receive feedback.

Read the whole Medact report here.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 18 October 2012.

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