The use of drones in armed conflicts has increased significantly in recent years, raising humanitarian, legal and other concerns. ICRC President Peter Maurer addresses humanitarian, legal and other aspects of the use of armed drones.
Under international humanitarian law – the rules of war, i.e. the set of laws governing armed conflicts – drones are not expressly prohibited, nor are they considered to be inherently indiscriminate or perfidious. In this respect, they are no different from weapons launched from manned aircraft such as helicopters or other combat aircraft. It is important to emphasize, however, that while drones are not unlawful in themselves, their use is subject to international law.