Australia Needs to Be Transparent on Drones

Australia Needs to Be Transparent on Drones 

Given that the Australian government has not been willing to come clean about its current role in U.S. drone strikes overseas, the prospect of Australia developing its own armed drones program is deeply troubling.

Reports earlier this year that Australia’s air force intends to spend A$300 million ($239 million) on “Reaper” drones from the U.S. should prompt an urgent push to create robust safeguards and thorough accountability measures to ensure Australia does not rush into a quagmire of human rights violations.

Whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with drone technology in itself, the way armed drones have increasingly been used creates an unacceptably high risk of violating international law. In addition to enabling secret extrajudicial killings, covert U.S. drone strikes have resulted in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia since 2002.

Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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