Over the past few years we have witnessed the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, to undertake armed attacks around the globe. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia have all been subject to drone strikes by US or British drones controlled from many thousands of miles away. Palestine is also subjected to drone strikes from Israel.
Although there are claims that the drone strikes are precise and accurate, there are many reports – particular from Pakistan where media are able to obtain first hand reports – of high numbers of civilian casualties. Just this month the MoD admitted that four Afghan civilians had been killed in a British drone strike.
Legal experts as well as peace and human rights organisations have expressed serious concerns about the growing use of armed drones and even some within the British Ministry of Defence have raised questions about the push towards greater autonomy for armed drones.
During the week of 1st to 8th October, as part of International Keep Space for Peace Week, the Drones Campaign Network is encouraging organisations, local groups and individuals to engage in actions to both raise public awareness about drones and to engage in action to ‘ground the drones’.
A briefing for the week is now available and includes :
- information on drones,
- a map of places in UK with connections to the ‘drone wars’
- ideas for action and
- further resources.