From: 7 March 2017

Until: 8 March 2017

Location: The Hague Institute for Global Justice (The Netherlands)

The rise of drone technology provides great potential for humanitarian aid through the automation of data collection and cargo transportation as examples. The benefits arising from the deployment of drone technologies are seen in multiple and varying humanitarian contexts (e.g. natural disasters, conflict zones, protection of endangered species). However, there is also an outcry that such deployment not only exacerbates an already delicate situation and vulnerable demographic but also presents additional ethical and human rights considerations that cannot be ignored. Given the drastic increase in the use of drones in these contexts, timely development of policy and regulations to guide both the design and deployment is crucial.

This two-day workshop on Humanitarian Drones is an attempt to start this process. The Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) initiated a collaboration in order to draw attention to the immediate need for policy in this sector and encourage action on the part of policy makers. On the first day, there will be multidisciplinary panels during which experts can discuss and debate about the major issues at play. This provides the food for thought that informs the closed session on Wednesday during which multiple stakeholders begin to draft a formal report. The report will be a follow-up to the 2014 UN OCHA report on the use of drones in humanitarian contexts. It will address the state-of-the-art robotics development alongside the ethical and human rights issues at stake throughout this deployment.

Workshop Organizers

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