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Use of Drones Jeopardize Human Rights

Useof Drones Jeopardize Human Rights

Theuse of drones that started in World War II has become verysignificant in the current century. In the military, drones were usedspecifically for aerial surveillance because they are equipped withspecific camera technologies that record as well as transmit photoimages to the control stations based on the ground. Their functionshave currently expanded to diverse areas including rescue and directattacks on specific persons. In the last decade, use of armed dronesincreased significantly leading to the current peak experienced inthe United States of America today. Use of drones in war tonecountries including Afghanistan and Somalia resulted in the loss ofmany lives. Equally, extensive use of drones in the United States hasbeen associated with increased complaints from the public aboutinfringement of their privacy. Based on the claims raised bydifferent people, it is apparent that aerial surveillance in additionto attacks by drones is associated with violation of human rights.The study aims at expounding on how drones violate human rights.

Althoughdrones are used mainly in the military platform, their use hasextended to domestic law enforcement including not only patrols andinfrastructure protection but also surveillance of individuals. Theincreased use of the drones within the country raises many questionsabout the safety of privacy rights (Melzer and Bandone 8). Privacyadvocates argue that use pervasive surveillance through the use ofdrones impair with the rights of the public.Theclaim is justified by the fact that flight surveillance is associatedwith the collection of information from the sky. Surveillance mightinclude a broad and unselective recording of people on the surfaceusing camera sensors on the aircraft. For instance, the U.S. AirForce use “Gorgon Stare” sensor to monitor approximately 100km2for several hours (Melzer and Bandone 8). Surveillance might also beassociated with the collection of data relating to crimes. These twotypes of surveillance implicate different privacy concepts such aspersonal control and secrecy. They also impair with autonomy besidesanonymity (Thompson 6).

Oneof the renowned privacy theories is associated with regulation ofinformation about oneself. One noticeable privacy theorist assertthat “Privacy is the claim of individuals, groups, or institutionsto determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent informationabout them is communicated to others” (Thompson 6). Dronesundermine this theory since their use has made people lose control ofintrusion by other people. With extensive use of drones, people, aswell as their activities, are made public against their will. Thesecrecy model is also another common theory of privacy. According toit, a person’s privacy is jeopardized if specific concealedinformation about them is disclosed to the public or revealed toanother party. However, the claim by the Court that things exposedknowingly by the public are not subject to Fourth Amendment in theU.S. Constitution provided the public with little protection fromuncontrolled drone surveillance (Thompson 6). In other words, thesupport of drone surveillance by the Court encourages increased useof the drone, impairing with people’s privacy.

Dronesurveillance affects human autonomy. According to Thompson (6), theability of individuals to make their decisions without externalinfluence has been endangered by drone surveillance. Surveillance isa type of social control that decree conformity in the society,preventing independent thinking by noting individuals who go againstthe social norms. In support of his claim, Thompson (7) argues thatthe environment of prison force inmates to self-regulate theirconducts to the recommended norm since they think they are everwatched. Although such social control results in social order, it isapparent to much of it can affect freedom, creativity in addition toself-development. Thus, the risk of autonomy increases with increaseduse of drones for surveillance.

Dronesare claimed to facilitate sharing of personal information with otherpeople. The assertion is related to the device ability to retainimages of people captured by the technologies. According to Cavoukian(12), there is increased claim from the public that their images areshared without their consent because of increased use of drones. Withthis fact in mind, one can conclude that use of drones has madedetails of investigations public. Similarly, Bilton (2016) arguesthat private ownership of drones have intruded people’s privacy intheir respective homes. In support of this, Bilton presents a case ofneighbor flying his drone to his neighbor’s bedroom window andrecording everything that was taking place in the house. Drones havealso used been used to spy people in their pools, exposing theirnakedness to other people (Bilton 2016). Based on this assertion, itis evident that use of drones violates human rights, specificallyprivacy, that is very essential.

Asit was introduced above, the use of drones increased significantly inWorld War II after their introduction in World War I (UNA-GB Model UN1). However, they started to produce damaging outcomes in World WarII when they started to be used as weapons instead of surveillancedevices. In 2010, there were about 36 U.S. armed drones aboveAfghanistan and Iraq (UNA-GB Model UN 2). During Bush’s reign,drones were used to assassinate terrorist leaders in Pakistan andother Arab countries (UNA-GB Model UN 2). There use increased inObama Administration, and a study by Human Rights First shows thatabout 20 to 25 percent strikes by the drones hit civilians instead ofthe targets. Arab countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, andSomali have been affected significantly by use of drones. From thisargument, one can confirm that Arab countries have experienced manycivilian casualties because of drones. In fact, the Human RightsCouncil (UNA-GB Model UN 1) claims that increased use of drones tokill people in other countries have become a serious internationalhuman right issue.

Justlike the U.S. Israel is renowned for causing a lot of harm to thepeople because of drones. Israel was the first country in the globeto start using drones in early 1970’s (UNA-GB Model UN 3) asurveillance tool to observe troop movement. Today, Israel leads inproducing drones including killer drones that are imported by othercountries. Use of drones by Israel in areas of Palestine has greatlyimpaired with the mental state of persons living in Gaza (UNA-GBModel UN 3). The problem is attributed not only to the people’sperception of the use of drones, but also the noise produced by thedrones. According to Griek, Linden, and Berkleef (9), many peopleincluding young children associate the noise produced by the droneswith war and sometimes explosions. Palestinian Center for HumanRights also claims that more than 285 people have lost their lives todrones in Gaza as from 2006. The majority of the dead according toGriek, Linden, and Berkleef (3) constitutes civilians who aremistakenly targeted or enclosed in the fatal shrapnel shower ofdrones strike. Use of drones is associated with loss of innocentlives whereas people are entitled to living. The constitution of allcountries in the globe protects people from innocent death. In otherwords, every person has the right to live, but the drone violatesthis constitutional right.

Inconclusion, use of drones has increased significantly today becauseof public and private recognition of their use. Use of dronesfacilitates surveillance which essential for the protection of thepeople from terrorists and other attacks. Increased used of drones,however, violates human rights. Apart from breaching people’sprivacy in their homes and offices, use of drones has enhancedsharing of personal information to other unrecognized people. Theiruse has also made the government intrude personal lives since almosteverything has been made public by the surveillance system.Privatization of drones has facilitated abuse of drones. Drones areused by members of the public to spy on other people. Use of dronesis also associated with violation of the “right to live” providedby the constitution of different countries. Many people, specificallyin Arab countries, have lost their lives because of drones. Dronesare used to target terrorists, leading to civilians also losing theirlives because of the identification mistakes. The majority of thepeople, who have been killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia,constitute civilians who are wrongly identified as terrorists orcaught within the shower of drone strikes. Based on these findings,it is recommendable for developed countries including America andIsrael to consider capturing suspects and terrorists instead ofkilling them to avoid innocent killing.


Bilton,Nick. When Your Neighbor’s Drone Pays an Unwelcome Visit. TheNew York Times. 2016.

Cavoukian, Ann. Privacyand Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.2012. Web. 28 November. https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/Resources/pbd-drones.pdf

Griek,Ilse, Linden Andres, and Berkleef Terence. Drones &amp Human Rights:Emerging Issues for Investors. Sustainalytics.2014.

Melzer,Nils and Bandone Anete. Human Rights Implications of the Usage ofDrones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare. PolicyDepartment DG External Policies.2013.

Thompson,Richard. Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer. CongressionalResearch Service. 2015.

UNA-GBModel UN. Useof Drones as a Human Rights Violation.2014. Web. 28 November 2016.https://unagb-mun.wikispaces.com/file/view/Use+of+Drones+Topic+Guide.pdf