Call to Action We call upon all European governments, individually and through European institutions to:
1 Articulate Clear Policies
All states must recognise the grave challenges presented by armed drones, and publicly articulate clear policy and legal positions on this issue. This includes possible collaboration in drone operations by other parties.
States that use armed drones must publish their rules and procedures to show full compliance with international law, including preventing, mitigating and investigating all unlawful deaths, and more broadly all civilian harm.
2 Prevent Complicity
States must not be complicit in unlawful drone strikes, for example, by providing logistical support or data used to track down targets. European states must accept their ‘third-party responsibility’.
3 Ensure Transparency
All states should work on transparency through the sharing and publication of information that can contribute to the development of restrictive norms of behaviour, the prevention of harm and the strengthening of international law.
Additionally, states that use armed drones in counter-terrorism operations must provide timely public information, on a case-by-case basis, on the legal and factual grounds on which specific individuals or groups are targeted, and provide information on the number of casualties and their identities.
4 Establish Accountability
States involved in drone strikes must conduct prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of unlawful death or civilian harm and publish the results of each investigation in a timely manner.
All states must ensure that the rights of victims of drone strikes are upheld, including by ensuring effective access to judicial remedies and reparation.
5 Control Proliferation
All states must enact stricter controls on the transfer of military and dual-use drone technology. This includes standardizing categories of drones and related technology in export control regimes and treaties on national, regional and international levels, and applying clear criteria to prevent irresponsible transfers.
All states should participate in a global debate in relevant international forums, so as to work towards broader understanding of, and support by states for, stricter control of transfers of drones and drone-related technology.
The above Call to Action was unanimously adopted at a meeting of The European Forum on Armed Drones (EFAD) held in Brussels on 7 April 2016.
It has since been ratified by the following civil society organisations: