Nuhanovic Foundation

Reparations Database

K. Chen; Invisible Victims of Drone Strikes in Afghanistan, Peace Review Journal of Social Justice, Vol. 27 (4)





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This brief article outlines that although Afghanistan is one of the most heavily affected countries in the world, most Afghan civilian victims originating from United States (US) drone strikes do not see their right to a remedy ensured. Reported casualties are not properly counted or investigated and, generally, the victims are not compensated, nor do they receive an official apology. While the US occasionally makes so called ‘condolence payments’ to the victims, these cannot be understood as an official acknowledgment of any wrongdoing.  Moreover, Afghan victims receive a much lower amount than drone victims in other countries.

Afghan civilian drone casualties are caused by a number of factors ranging from a lack of adequate precaution in advance of the attack to the misidentification of civilians as legitimate targets. The latter is due to limitations of the technical systems used and unexperienced operators.

The author concludes that both the US and Afghan governments should ensure that drone victims and their families have effective access to remedies, including compensation, rehabilitation, and guarantees of non-repetition.

More on Afghan drone victims and their non-effectuated right to a remedy can be found here:

2018 | Amnesty International Report Deadly Assistance – The Role of EuropeanStates in US Drone Strikes

2017 | European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights Report Litigating Drone Strikes – Challenging the Global Network of Remote Killing

2017 | Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic & Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies Report Out Of the Shadows Report

2016 | Q. Eijkman, M. Bakker; Access to an Effective Remedy and Reparations for Civilian Victims of Armed Drone Strikes in The Future of Drone Use, Opportunities and Threats from Ethical and Legal Perspectives

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