Accountability for “Targeted Killings” and Drone Strikes
The Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School plays an important role in advocacy and research related to lethal targeting with drone technology and the impact on civilians. Through research, policy reports and expert meetings, we build consensus on the need for greater government transparency and accountability for drone strikes and civilian harm. Over the years, the Institute and Clinic have made significant contributions to national debate on U.S. drone strikes.
In 2014, the Human Rights Clinic launched a new project to promote accountability for U.S. “targeted killings” and drone strikes. This work builds upon prior work undertaken by the clinic in previous years. The Institute and students in the Human Rights Clinic worked with U.S. and international civil society groups to develop joint NGO letters to both the U.N. and the U.S. government urging greater transparency, accountability, and compliance with international law in the use of drones for lethal targeting. The clinic also prepared extensive research on advocacy work and strategies, hosted strategy meetings with civil society organizations, and conducted consultations with military, civil society, U.N., and international law actors, as well as journalists and Yemeni experts, to develop new advocacy projects to address drone strikes.
Human Rights Clinic joins human rights and civil liberties organizations to call on the Obama Administration to publicly acknowledge and investigate drone strikes and targeted killings May 13, 2015.
Human Rights Clinic advocates for accountability for targeted killings in a letter to the UN Human Rights Council, September 22, 2014
Human Rights Clinic's submission of testimony to Senate Judiciary hearing on drones, April 23, 2012
View the major report Civilian Impact of Drones:Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions
View the report on media practices Counting Drone Strike Deaths
Watch the C-SPAN broadcast of Targeting with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications.
Read the Institute's briefing paper on the U.S. government's legal standards for drones use.
Read the Institute's letter on U.N. concerns regarding U.S. targeting operations with drone technology.