Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has produced a new report on armed drones and targeted killing for the UN Human Rights Council. The report follows up and adds to two previous reports by her predecessors which we reported on at the time here (2010) and here (2014). While reading the full report is recommended, here is our summary and how it speaks to UK drone operations.
Focused on the use of armed drones in particular for targeted killings, the report lambasts the silence of States and international institutions in response to the damage being done by their increasing use:
“The vast majority of targeted killings by drones are subjected to little public scrutiny at either national or international levels. And yet, drone technologies and drone attacks generate fundamental challenges to international legal standards, the prohibition against arbitrary killings and the lawful limitations on permissible use of force, and the very institutions established to safeguard peace and security. [Para 1]