Questions & Answers

If you have a question about the Campaign not covered below, please contact us.

1. What is the purpose of this Campaign?

The Campaign’s current focus is to encourage the establishment of an international framework agreed by states and other relevant parties, to recognise the moral significance of casualty recording and to work towards its implementation. This will require the identification of common standards and practices of casualty recording for the international community.

In order to achieve this, the Every Casualty Campaign is working closely with a growing network of NGOs and casualty-recording practitioners around the world to develop good practice, common standards and address the challenges to recording. The Every Casualty Campaign is open to all civil society organisations interested and active on this theme and able to subscribe to the call. Find out how to support the Campaign

2. What do you mean by casualty recording?

Casualty recording is the process of making records of all direct deaths from armed violence in a systematic and continuous way. Casualty recording attempts comprehensive coverage for a given area and period of time, to the level of detail of documenting the individuals killed and the incidents/events of armed violence in which they died.

3. What do we mean by promptly record, correctly identify and publicly acknowledged?

Prompt recording means recording the death of an individual and the circumstances surrounding it without delays once the risk of further harm is eliminated. Correctly identify refers to the process of documentation which establishes the identity of a deceased person at the level of the deceased person’s name at a minimum. Public acknowledgement refers to the information about casualties being released first to bereaved families and then to the wider public unless there is  a genuine concern to safeguard the living from harm. Public acknowledgment must include publication of this information in language and media accessible to the communities in which the victims lived.

4. Why do we call for public acknowledgement?

We call for the information on casualties to be on public record, as soon as it is safe for this information to be released. Public acknowledgement is a key guarantor of transparency in the process of casualty recording, ensuring that there is full accountability in methods and outcomes of the recording process.

5. What information should be recorded?

As much information as possible should be recorded about someone’s death in a violent incident. This includes information on the victim/victims such as name, age, gender, occupation, religion, and ethnic group. It also includes information on incidents such as date, location, number of people killed in the incident, weapons used.

6. Whose responsibility to record?

States are primarily responsible to ensure casualty recording is being undertaken within their territory. States, and the inter-state organisations, are the only parties capable of agreeing and implementing measures which have the universal reach and application that we seek. While the focus of this Campaign is on the actions of states, in principle, our call is on all engaged in armed violence. Therefore non-state actors who have a de-facto control over a territory also have a responsibility to record casualties.

It should also be noted that there have been some positive results from engagement with non-state armed groups in relation to human rights and humanitarian law, for example, the Geneva Call’s successes with rebel groups committing to reject anti-personnel landmines.

7. What is armed violence and why is it the focus of the Campaign?

Armed violence kills and injures individuals, creates fear and insecurity. Armed violence presents an international social crisis that should be seen alongside poverty as one of the high level barriers to our common global development. Armed violence includes includes conflict, situations of widespread organised crime, weakened state capacity, or other situations of violence.  It is the fact of widespread unrecorded violent death that determines the focus of this campaign, not the classification of particular types of violence.

 8. Does the Campaign call apply to combatants, as well as civilians?

The Call applies to “every casualty”. This means that there are no restrictions on who should be recognised – “every casualty” includes every person who has died from armed violence. This means combatants, civilians, people whose combat status is not known, men, women, children etc. 

9. What is the basis of this Campaign?

The Call of this campaign is based on consultation with and inspiration from organisations and experts working in the field of recording casualties, which has taken place over the past few years. At its core is the moral principle  on which this campaign is based on is that no one’s death from armed violence should go unrecognized.