21st Century Warfare: Drone Technology

21st Century Warfare: Drone Technology

In December 2019, Turkey unveiled its latest military drone named ‘Songar’ equipped with a machine gun. This development indicates that drone warfare is evolving from firing missiles from a distance to engaging in close-quarters combat. According to Asisguard, the company who built the device, its purpose is to increase ‘survival against harassment fire in patrol zones and fortress patrol areas, or in the event of any ambush or threat during the transition of land vehicles and convoys’. Providing up to 200 rounds of ammunition and with accuracy to hit a human target within 200 metres, the website promotes its offensive as well as defensive capabilities. It’s also the latest addition to a complicated debate on the ethics of drone warfare.

 

Drone warfare emerged hand in hand with the ‘War on Terror’ after 9/11, in response to the changing nature of combat. Where traditionally, clearly defined battlefields existed and combatants were uniformed, the United States subsequently found themselves fighting terrorist cells, whose fighters were not easily identifiable. Supporters of the US drone programme state that it reduces the loss of lives of American soldiers, it’s more precise, and, as a result, produces less collateral damage. Critics state that it renders killing too accessible, promotes extremism by terrorising people affected by these strikes, and that there are more civilian casualties than the US government admits.

 

The ethical underpinning for drone strikes is that of the ‘Just War Theory’ which is a set of military ethics guidelines used to authorise the strikes. It is comprised of two broad principles; discrimination and proportionality. Discrimination determines what are and are not legitimate targets in war. Essentially, its purpose is the protection of non-combatant civilians. Proportionality determines how much force is morally appropriate to use, to protect unnecessary damage to civilian life and property. In layman’s terms, the harm caused by these strikes must be proportional to what is being gained by the military.

 

When considering this ethical framework, it is important to understand how drones are operated. Drones are typically piloted by members of the US military located far away at an airbase in the United States or US-controlled bases internationally, and not in the country in which the strike occurs. This certainly complicates human accountability in conflict and, to some degree, disconnects the public from the consequences of warfare. This is because of the reduction in casualties, where American soldiers are concerned, minimises the impact of war felt at home. The number of drone strikes more than doubled under the Obama administration when compared to George W. Bush’s administration, and under Trump’s administration, they have increased to one every 1.25 days on average. The rate of civilian deaths reportedly increased 52% under Trump and in 2019, he revoked an executive order implemented by Barack Obama which required members of the intelligence committee to publish the number of civilians killed in drone strikes. Consequently, the Trump administration is promoting decreased transparency and accountability. Non-combatants stand to lose the most under these conditions.

 

According to Amnesty International, leaked US military documents show that of the casualties as a result of drone strikes carried out within a 5 month period in 2013, 90% were not intended targets of the strike. This, combined with the prospect of lethal autonomous weapons, where technology chooses targets, being a possible reality in warfare, shows there is a clear need for a defined legal framework to be put in place to address modern warfare. Whatever side you are on in this argument between immorality and necessity, one thing is clear, the US is prioritising efficient and effective warfare, at the cost of foreign non-combatant’s lives.

 

 

 

Photo by jjprojects on Flickr

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

21st Century Warfare: Drone Technology

In December 2019, Turkey unveiled its latest military drone named ‘Songar’ equipped with a machine gun. This development indicates that drone warfare is evolving from firing missiles from a distance to engaging in close-quarters combat. It’s the latest addition to a complicated debate on the ethics of drone warfare.

An Examination of Statelessness

It’s often the things you take for granted in life that are the most important. The passport you use when going on holidays, the birth certificate sitting in the back of your filing cabinet, the PPSN that you use to do your taxes. But, imagine your life if you didn’t have those documents.

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

10000 students working towards a more equal future

10000 students working towards a more equal future

February 20th marks the World Day of Social Justice 2020, and young people across Ireland are finding themselves facing an uncertain future on all fronts. Fighting against ever-increasing university fees, and laden down with the knowledge that just 20 companies worldwide are responsible for one third of all global emissions, it can be hard to believe that any individual can take action to truly level the playing field. 

One person alone might feel as though they can’t make a change, but what happens when 10000 third-level students come together to take one small action each for a better world? This is what STAND, a Suas Educational Development initiative, and the Unions of Students in Ireland (USI) are trying to encourage by partnering on a new platform called 10000students.ie. 

The 10000 students website, which provides examples on how to take action for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in every USI affiliated college across Ireland, allows students to pledge to take one action on their campus. It also counts how many actions are being taken across Ireland as a whole, with the idea being that students will see strength in numbers when it comes to taking action collectively. 

Speaking from the launch event at GMIT, Mayo, USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick had the following to say:

“Pledging to take any action on 10000students.ie is an easy way to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and to see how simple it can be to make a difference through implementing these changes in their daily lives. Students have always been at the forefront of positive change in Ireland and it is no different when it comes to the SDG’s. Last year, USI was announced as one of the twelve Sustainable Development Goal Champions and we are delighted to partner with STAND to launch this campaign to make it easy for students to make a difference while challenging their friends to do the same.”

Want to see how you can get involved? Visit 10000students.ie today and pledge to take one small action on your campus for a more sustainable planet.

Xenophobic Ideas Spread Along with the Novel Coronavirus

Xenophobic Ideas Spread Along with the Novel Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus, which came to doctors’ attention in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, now has 75,000 reported cases and has claimed over 2,000 lives in China. The virus has spread outside of China, with cases reported in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany and the UK. There have been six reported deaths as a result of the illness outside of China – in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, France and the Philippines.

 

Understandably, fear is prevalent at the moment. We cannot help but recall previous outbreaks such as bird flu in 2003 and swine flu in 2009. In the midst of this recent outbreak, we might find ourselves more germaphobic than usual: flinching when a stranger in the street sneezes or keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer on your person at all times. While paying extra attention to hygiene is normal and even healthy, there is an insidious side to this newfound germaphobia. Xenophobia has often been a symptom of global outbreaks of infectious disease, and the coronavirus is no exception. 

 

There have been a plethora of reports of racism against people of Chinese origin since the coronavirus has entered the public radar. Even those who haven’t been to China for many years or are of a different Asian ethnicity entirely, have been targeted by the public and press alike. In France, a local newspaper came under fire after it published incredibly racist headlines such as “Alerte Jaune” (“Yellow Alert”) and “Le Peril Jaune?” (“Yellow Peril?”). French Asians took to Twitter using the hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus in response to these headlines, as well as sharing racist interactions they had experienced in public. 

 

In the UK, many people of Asian backgrounds have spoken out about their experiences. A food writer from Burma posted photos on the Tube of people standing rather than sitting next to her, and Chinese-born Dr. Zhou recounted an experience he had in an elevator in Gatwick airport where a woman muttered to her husband, “they should wear their masks.” Dr. Zhou claimed that the woman clearly thought he was “fresh off the boat” in spite of the fact that he hasn’t been to China in two years, and therefore posed just as much of a risk as any white British person. As well as this, four separate racist incidents relating to the coronavirus have been reported to police in Yorkshire, where there have been two reported cases of the virus. Both the Chinese ambassador to the UK and the Health Secretary Matt Hannock have spoken out against such reactionary and hateful attitudes, Hannock saying, “this is not about one part of the world.”

 

Hostility towards Asian communities across the pond is just as, if not even more, harsh. Even usually reputable sources have been guilty of propagating an anti-Asian sentiment. In an Instagram post which was intended to inform students about common reactions to the threat of outbreak, the University of California Berkeley listed ‘xenophobia’ as one possible reaction. The post was quickly deleted and an apology was issued, but this did not subdue those who felt outrage at the university’s normalisation of the showing of animosity towards people based purely on their ethnic background. 

 

A doctor by the name of Eric Ding added fuel to the fire when he shared an unpublished paper about the coronavirus and its R0 which is supposed to measure the virus’s level of contagiousness. Although he deleted this particular tweet and the subsequent tweets pertaining to it, it managed to drum up a significant amount of hysteria surrounding the virus. A thread remains on his Twitter, however, and although he prefaced this series of tweets by saying, “First, I don’t like unsupported conspiracy theories, but [the origin of the coronavirus] is a lingering question…seafood market isn’t whole story”, the discussion in the following tweets belongs more in the camp of inflammation than information, at one point saying, “…I am absolutely not saying it’s bioengineering … I’m simply saying scientists need to do more research.” 

 

We have seen recently that xenophobia spurred on by the virus is not the only factor rendering the lives of Asian people in the States difficult; you will recall Trump’s restriction on Chinese immigrants and allegations of Chinese spies in the US. The circulation of xenophobic ideas masked as “information” about the virus only serves to reinforce already existing rhetoric villifying Chinese people. It’s important to note that this is not an isolated occurrence of this type of rhetoric; associations between Chinese people and uncleanliness have long been part of Western discourse, specifically in the US, and most often centred around Chinese food and eating habits. 

 

This is particularly relevant considering Wuhan’s food markets have been cited as the source of the virus. The food sold at these markets don’t always fit into Western norms, so there is often a tendency to view it as strange or disgusting. A perfect example of this is the ordeal experienced by Wang Mengyun, a Chinese vlogger who posted a video of herself enjoying fruit bat soup. This video was posted three years ago, but amidst coronavirus madness it resurfaced and was falsely claimed to have been shot in a “Wuhan restaurant”. In spite of the fact that the video was filmed in Palau long before the outbreak of the virus, the video caused fury and disgust online. It was described as “gruesome” and “revolting” by media outlets and Wang even received death threats. The backlash was so severe that she was forced to issue an apology for the video. Although China is thought to have issues around food regulation, this is a governmental concern and hardly the fault of individuals who choose to enjoy traditional menus – it does not justify the demonisation of Chinese people as a result of cultural ignorance. 

 

This attitude fits into a much larger discourse which associates foreigners with disease, a typical case of cultural “othering”. Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, discusses the connection between immigrants and illness: “People with a different national, ethnic or religious background have historically been accused of spreading germs regardless of what the science may say.” This can be seen in public discourse for as long as immigrants have been in the US. The New York Daily Tribunal was circulating similar ideas in 1854, writing that Chinese people were “uncivilised, unclean, filthy beyond all conception.” We like to think we have come a long way in accepting and embracing different cultures, but when xenophobia is perpetuated by popular media outlets and reputable sources, it is important to scratch beneath the surface – usually what seems like a simple tasteless comment is in fact contributing to a larger narrative that stigmatises people of certain cultural backgrounds. 

 

This was seen even more recently during the large-scale migration into New York in the 1920s, during which racial segregation in the city was justified by links that were falsely made between certain ethnic groups and germs. It was also evident during the HIV epidemic in the 80s, when Haitian people were discriminated against;and during the SARS outbreak of 2003, which saw the persecution of people of Asian ethnicity. 

 

In times of public emergency, it is far easier to assign blame than to think rationally. However, it is important not to let a scaremongering narrative surround an outbreak. Priscilla Wald warns against this in her book Culture, Carriers and the Outbreak Narrative. She explains that a sensationalist narrative can “influence how scientists and the lay public understand the nature and consequences of infection, how they imagine the threat.” 

 

During outbreaks, it is in everyone’s best interest to remain calm and compassionate. Not only does this facilitate the spread of helpful information, but ensures that we do not create another layer of xenophobic rhetoric which further marginalises certain groups in society during a period when, of all times, we must stand together. 

 

 

 

Photo by Bicanski on Pixnio

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

Xenophobic Ideas Spread Along with the Novel Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus now has 75,000 reported cases and has claimed over 2,000 lives in China. In the midst of this recent outbreak, we might find ourselves more germaphobic than usual. While paying extra attention to hygiene is normal and even healthy, there is an insidious side to this newfound germaphobia.

‘There is always something to fight for’ – Saoirse McHugh confirms run for the Seanad

One of the primary challenges facing the climate justice movement is the ability to translate environmental and political jargon. The movement has to be inclusive, accessible, fair and all-encompassing – but if we cannot get Green Party or climate-focused TDs like Saoirse McHugh elected to the Dáil, we don’t stand a chance of creating structural change.

What’s the Big Deal with Love Island?

As Love Island returns to our screens for its sixth series, the question on everyone’s mind is the same – what is the secret ingredient that keeps over 6 million viewers coming back for more?

Australia vs Notre Dame: The Fiery Reporting Disparity

Within the last few days, it has been a great relief to learn that at least some reprieve has been afforded to firefighters, civilians and animals alike in some areas of Australia affected by the bushfires as a result of intense thunderstorms and powerful...

New Year, Same Brexit Headache

Brexit day is fast approaching, with the UK on track to officially leave the European Union in less than two weeks. In this article in our Brexit series, Rachel gives us an update on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the future of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

FGM: A Multifarious Practice Deeply Ingrained in Somalia

While FGM is frequently justified as a religious practice preserving the purity of women, it is, in reality, an extremely resilient customary practice which predates the conception and arrival to the Horn of Africa of Islam.

An Interview with ShoutOut: Marriage Equality Didn’t End Discrimination

An Interview with ShoutOut: Marriage Equality Didn’t End Discrimination

STAND’s Cedric spoke with Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh from ShoutOut about issues still faced by those who identify as LGBTQ+ in Ireland. Watch the video below.

 

 

 

Browse more videos below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

 

An Interview with ShoutOut: Marriage Equality Didn’t End Discrimination

STAND’s Cedric spoke with Lisa nic an Bhreithimh from ShoutOut about issues still faced by those who identify as LGBTQ+ in Ireland.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Dublin with DCNYF

STAND News Intern Ariana took a trip to the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival, which  is taking place from January 24th - February 10th 2020.

The Irish housing crisis: what might solutions look like?

Cathal Curry, DCU student and founder of giveback.ie  talked to STAND News about the housing crisis and homelessness in Ireland and what solutions might look like.

DCU Mental Health Society on suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

STAND's Cedric spoke with Abigail McDonnell from DCU Mental Health Society about what it's like to suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD. Watch the video below.

The Bernard Shaw is closing its doors

After 13 years, the popular southside pub The Bernard Shaw is closing its doors. Over the years, the local pub had grown to become a cultural institution, providing creative space for countless artists and musicians. STAND interviewed one of them.

‘’Keep the Carbon in the soil, no more coal, no more oil!’

‘’When you were my age did you know what climate change meant?!’’ Here is a review of last Friday strike and its consequences.

The Legacy of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona

The Legacy of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona

After beating off stiff competition to become the host city for the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain and the country’s second-largest city, took on the challenge to represent Spain on an international stage. A major redevelopment of Barcelona’s infrastructure and landscape began, the results of which have significantly contributed to what Barcelona is today: a famously vibrant epicentre of culture in Europe as well as a world-renowned tourist destination.

 

As a consequence of building and design efforts targeted at the Olympic games, several purpose-built architecturally striking venues popped up across Barcelona city in the early 1990s, transforming the city’s skyline. Examples of such structures include the Palau Municipal d’Esports; Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys; Velòdrom Municipal d’Horta and Palau Sant Jordi. Introducing the initiative as a citywide developmental plan, the Spanish government aimed to pacify fears that the transformation would impinge upon Barcelona’s natural landscape features, such as its distinctively shaped mountains set against a vast shoreline. The creation of two miles of beachfront across Barcelona’s coastline using hundreds of tonnes of imported sand was a unique feature of the development, which proved a resounding success in attracting tourism to the city to this day. 

 

The surge in tourist numbers to Barcelona after the 1992 Olympic Games made excellent use of the planned upgrade in transport systems. Efforts to improve transport systems in Barcelona during this time have enabled the city to become a more accessible location in Europe. The El Prat de Llobregat airport benefitted from expansion as part of the major development, with the addition of new terminals, a jetway and a control tower. The upgrading of the road network in the region was achieved at this time with significant government planning and investment in rail and roads networks, producing stronger transport links in Barcelona with the addition of the ring roads, for example, the Rondas and the opening of its first high-speed rail network, the Alta Velocidad Española. As a relatively new member of the European Union, having joined in 1986, Spain seized the opportunity to showcase Barcelona’s potential, which led to the improvement of the Spanish economy by sustaining increased investment across all sectors.

 

A further but perhaps less obvious aspect of the major redevelopment of Barcelona for the Olympic Games was the incorporation of an accessibility initiative in Barcelona’s physical environment. Prior to the Olympic Games, Barcelona was not easily accessible for people with disabilities, who may require that little bit of extra thought in the design of transport and infrastructure. Merche Barreneche, Director of Barcelona’s Municipal Institute of People with Disability in 1992, said that “it costs the same to build something new that is accessible as something that is not. We must debunk the myth that it is more expensive.” The design of transport that incorporated universal accessibility in Barcelona was highly commended in establishing an early example of how accessibility can be achieved in urban planning. These features of design can be found all over Barcelona today, in wheelchair access for people with physical disabilities and assistive technology for people with audio or visual disabilities accessing all modes of transport, including in the airport and on buses, trains and trams to name a few.

 

The legacy of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona transformed the city’s transport network providing to this day an exemplary demonstration of how a region can invest in its infrastructure and attract worldwide tourism and investment. Barcelona was an inspiring example that contributed to the Olympic Games Knowledge Management programme that was set up in 2000. This programme is an important collaboration for the Olympic Games future success, whereby information gathered from past events support the improvement of planning for future chosen host cities of the Olympics. The future sustainability of the present infrastructure in the city will be put to the test again as Barcelona looks forward to hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

 

 

 

Photo by Alfons Taekema on Unsplash

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

10000 students working towards a more equal future

One person alone might feel as though they can’t make a change, but what happens when 10000 third-level students come together to take one small action each for a better world? This is what STAND, a Suas Educational Development initiative, and the Unions of Students in Ireland (USI) are trying to encourage by partnering on a new platform called 10000students.ie.

An Interview with ShoutOut: Marriage Equality Didn’t End Discrimination

STAND’s Cedric spoke with Lisa nic an Bhreithimh from ShoutOut about issues still faced by those who identify as LGBTQ+ in Ireland.

The Legacy of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona

After beating off stiff competition to become the host city for the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain and the country’s second-largest city, took on the challenge to represent Spain on an international stage. A major redevelopment of Barcelona’s infrastructure and landscape began.

Former Google Executive Calls Out Company Over Human Rights

Ross Lajeunesse, Google’s former Head of International Relations, has claimed he was pushed out of the company for his human rights advocacy. He is the most recent of many employees who claim they faced retaliation against workplace activism.

Yet Again, Love Island Is Failing Us On Diversity

The January blues may be in full swing but over on ITV2, love is in the air with the arrival of the very first winter season of Love Island. Although you cannot fault the extremely popular reality show on its entertainment value, it has come under scrutiny time and time again for its lack of body diversity, lack of racial representation and heteronormativity – this season is no exception.

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

An Examination of Statelessness

An Examination of Statelessness

It’s often the things you take for granted in life that are the most important. The passport you use when going on holidays, the birth certificate sitting in the back of your filing cabinet, the PPSN that you use to do your taxes. But, imagine your life if you didn’t have those documents – no going abroad, not being able to register for school, not being able to get a job. This is the reality of life for up to 10 million people globally, who do not have a nationality, who have none of those documents. These people are stateless, meaning that they do not have any official nationality. Often trapped in poverty, there is no way of improving their situation due to difficulty accessing healthcare, education, and employment. Overall, this can be a very difficult situation to solve. 

 

Statelessness can happen in a few ways. Some people become stateless due to purposeful discrimination by governments, while others may be affected by accident, when country boundaries change or when there are gaps in nationality laws. Other people may become stateless because they are refugees, which can make it difficult to prove where they or their parents were born due to a lack of documentation. Some children experience statelessness because of nationality laws which disallow their mothers from passing on citizenship, such as in Qatar. This means that if the child’s father is unknown or from a country with laws keeping him from passing on citizenship for some reason, the child will be unable to receive a nationality. Often entire groups of people end up stateless, just like how lots of people became stateless after the Soviet Union dissolved into multiple countries and their Soviet nationality ceased to exist. As well as groups affected by geographic changes, the UNHCR estimates that up to 75% of stateless people are members of minority groups, who are often explicitly discriminated against by the state they should be nationals of. An example of a stateless minority group are the Rohinga in Myanmar. While this group is best known for the intense violence it suffered and the huge refugee crisis which followed, few people know that citizenship laws passed in 1982 effectively denied the Rohinga (alongside some other minority ethnicities) the right to a nationality in Myanmar.

 

What is being done to prevent statelessness and to reduce the number of people currently stateless? The right to a nationality is enshrined in Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and two United Nations international legal conventions exist to provide standards that states should stick to in order to reduce and prevent statelessness. Unfortunately, many states routinely ignore these international laws. Some success has been seen, such as with the elimination of the issue from Kyrgyzstan, where the last 13,700 people who were stateless were granted citizenship between 2014 and 2019. However, many countries maintain discriminatory laws which will be difficult to convince them to change. Last month, India changed the law to make it easier for followers of all of the subcontinent’s religions, except Islam, to acquire citizenship. At the same time, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to compile a register of all India’s 1.3 billion citizens, as a means to hunt down illegal immigrants. With many of the country’s 200 million Muslims not having the papers to prove that they are Indian, they risk being made stateless. Further, the government has expressed the desire to build camps to detain those that are caught. 

Increasing numbers of refugees could also lead to an increase in the numbers of stateless people. Ultimately, it will be important for states to cooperate to try to reduce and prevent statelessness – for example by reforming their citizenship laws to allow newborn children who would otherwise be stateless to acquire citizenship. Colombia is setting a great example in this regard, living up to its international obligations by granting the children of all Venezuelan refugees the right to be Colombian citizens. The UNHCR recommends countries set up statelessness determination procedures to ensure that stateless people are able to get recognised.  In order to encourage other nations to follow this example and work to help statelessness and its harms become a thing of the past, both international and domestic pressure will be necessary. The UNHCR is running a campaign, #IBelong, to raise awareness of statelessness in the hope that governments will feel the need to change their ways. We will need governments that are willing to reform their laws to prevent children from being born stateless and to increase the ease with which stateless people can naturalise. Only then will we be able to remove this major barrier to the access of basic human rights.

 

 

 

Photo by Sarah-Rose on Flickr

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

21st Century Warfare: Drone Technology

In December 2019, Turkey unveiled its latest military drone named ‘Songar’ equipped with a machine gun. This development indicates that drone warfare is evolving from firing missiles from a distance to engaging in close-quarters combat. It’s the latest addition to a complicated debate on the ethics of drone warfare.

An Examination of Statelessness

It’s often the things you take for granted in life that are the most important. The passport you use when going on holidays, the birth certificate sitting in the back of your filing cabinet, the PPSN that you use to do your taxes. But, imagine your life if you didn’t have those documents.

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!