In November, QUNO chaired an event of the Geneva Forum entitled New Warfare Challenges: Drone Operations and Protection of Civilians. Moderated by Diane Hendrick, QUNO’s Representative for Peace and Disarmament, the panel consisted of Baher Amzy from the Centre for Constitutional Rights and Kate Hofstra from Every Casualty Worldwide led the discussions.
The discussion addressed the effects on communities of living under sustained drone presence and how the fear of becoming the next victim of a drone strike affects people’s willingness to attend cultural events, public gatherings or even school. Impacts include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, emotional breakdowns, and physical ailments that that can also have long term effects on societies as well as individuals. In addition, lack of transparency in the use of drones presents a significant obstacle to measuring the civilian impact of drone strikes and issues relating to casualty recording were also discussed at the event.
The panel attracted over 60 State and NGO representatives to address these underexplored issues.