The UAVs are not just a game-changer in modern warfare but also a life-saver in humanitarian operations.
Every time a new warfare technology comes to the fore, it faces critical questions, particularly along the ethical lines. Drones are not an exception.
Despite the military-grade drones being used for counterterror operations across the world, raising serious human rights concerns, the use of UAVs isn't just limited to war-making.
The UAVs display an immense ability by performing in logistics, protecting civilians, and supporting other peaceful purposes in modern warfare.
Drone proliferation by the UN peacekeepers and other international organisations such as NATO and the European Union provides new options to generate peace and stability in conflict areas and war-torn countries.
There has to be a distinction between 'killer' and 'good' drones in respect to how they can be used, indicates French thinker, Gregoire Chamayou, explaining the wide-ranging use of non-military drones.
For the contemporary challenges, the UAVs serve the purpose as the fastest and high-tech tool that involves the trinity of monitoring, detection and accessible life support transportation. They can support operations to enhance civilian protection and safety.
They contribute to the UN peacekeepers' ability to observe, allow constant day and night surveillance, control safe and sound logistic transportation, detect violent rebels or terrorists.
This smart surveillance and detection are practised for tactical search and rescue operations that include hostage scenes for the first time during the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in 2003.
Obtaining the bird's eye view swiftly upgrades data collection that includes visuals to gain information about the post-conflict situation and prevent any impunity of perpetrators and protect victims.
The UAVs are capable of identifying any breaches of embargoes and arms struggling, criminals, and investigating areas of active conflict, bomb sites, and wide-scale spots and edges before peacekeepers intervene and deal with hostile parties.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) listed inherent humanitarian uses of the UAVs including search, rescue, mapping, logistics, package-delivery, data gathering and surveillance, according to the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response'' report.
In 2017, UNICEF has launched the initial drone corridor for UAVs to test their likelihood of humanitarian and developmental use, with a particular focus on their ability to deliver vaccines in Africa’s Malawi.
Drones are increasingly in use in African countries to assist displaced people from conflict areas and respond to their basic needs.
The UN humanitarian agencies and international organisations are searching for more ways to mount 'good' drones and high-tech equipment for humanitarian purposes, estimating that the
UAVs will maintain their role as an indispensable part of peace operations and contemporary conflict resolution.