Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer the potential to improve humanitarian assistance and disaster reduction. As such they offer the possibility to better meet the needs of those affected by humanitarian crises. This can only be realized if UAVs are employed in a responsible and ethical manner.
The Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct, along with the supporting Guidelines on Data Ethics, Community Engagement, Effective Partnerships and Conflict Sensitivity, aims to guide all actors involved in the use of UAVs to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance in disasters and situations of conflict. The goal is that acceptance and adherence to this Code and related Guidelines will contribute to safety, professionalism and increased impact while building public confidence in the use of UAVs.
In March 2014, UAViators drafted the first version of the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct, which was then revised several times in 2014 and 2015 based on feedback from across the humanitarian sector. The Code of Conduct was further revised in July and August 2015 and additional guidelines were produced on four priority areas: Data Ethics, Community Engagement, Effective Partnerships and Conflict Sensitivity.
These revised documents are now being shared more broadly to solicit additional feedback through an open consultative process. This live online consultation event is a key event to that effect leading up to the 2015 UAV Experts Meeting on Humanitarian UAVs, which is being co-organized with UN/OCHA, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and MIT in October 2015.