11 October 2016
The proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in emergency response highlights their increasingly important role in disaster relief. However, the use of UAVs in such operations also raises important ethical and legal issues, which need to be addressed.
Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, are one of the most promising and powerful new technologies to improve disaster response and relief operations. UAVs are frequently portrayed as being a game-changer for disaster relief, both with respect to gathering information and delivering aid. UAVs equipped with imaging devices can capture timely and useful information for making more informed decisions for effective and timely responses in post-disaster settings.
However, the use of UAVs in disaster relief operations raises challenging questions around regulation, privacy, safety, and how to best integrate UAVs into disaster response. There are also important unanswered questions on community consent and participation, responsible data gathering and management. Answering these questions will require developing legal frameworks, coherent policies, good practices and guidance for deploying UAVs in disaster-affected communities. Humanitarian agencies will need to address these challenges through transparency, community engagement and guidelines on privacy and data security.
… Zin Bo Htet is Research Analyst with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 12/10/2016