Resources

The following are publications about various aspects of casualty recording from  Campaign members and others which contain argument, analysis and comment on the need to record every casualty. 

See also items tagged campaign in news & views, and our audio and video materials.

For more information about any of these resources, please contact the team.

Losing Sight of the Human Costs: Casualty Recording and Remote Control Warfare (2014)

Changes in military engagement, towards more covert and remotely operated ways of using armed force, are an evolving trend. Commissioned by the Remote Control Project, this paper explores the specific practical and policy challenges posed to casualty recording by this, and how these might be met through the strengthening of both state and independent practice.

How the Counts Reduce the Casualties (2014)

This new policy paper from Action on Armed Violence examines how casualty recording practices are helping to prevent and reduce violence and lower civilian casualties. Beyond the moral and existing legal imperatives to record casualties of armed violence, this paper shows how data on the victims has been pivotal in informing international processes that have lead to the banning of land mines and cluster munitions. The paper highlights four ways in which accurate records of deaths and injuries can help reduce armed violence, including: identifying the effects of specific weapons, exposing military tactics that result in disproportionately high civilian casualties, focusing scarce resources and humanitarian aid on those areas most affected, and strengthening accountability measures to help prevent future violence.

Casualty Recording: Assessing State and United Nations Practices (2014)

This paper summarises the joint findings of new research by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and the Every Casualty Programme (ECP) into states' and the United Nations' practices in casualty recording. It elaborates important benefits of casualty recording as well as providing recommendations to states, UN actors and civil society to advance global practice and political will. See also the full reports on which this paper is based: "Counting the Cost: Casualty Recording Practices and Realities Around the World" by AOAV and "The UN and Casualty Recording: Good Practice and the Need for Action" by ECP.

Casualty Recording as an Evaluative Capability: Libya and the Protection of Civilians (2013)

This paper from Every Casualty examines the relevance of casualty recording to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) framework, using NATO's intervention in Libya as a case study. It argues that the acquisition and analysis of information about casualties needs to be given a clear and fundamental role when drafting Security Council resolutions that mandate protection.

Policy Paper: Towards the Recording of Every Casualty: Policy Recommendations and Analysis From a Study of 40 Casualty Recorders (2012)

This policy paper, from Every Casualty's two-year study into casualty recording, provides an overview of why casualty recording is important and useful, and demonstrates that it can be effectively carried out under varying conditions both during and after conflict. It contains recommendations for states, global civil society and inter-governmental institutions on how casualty recording can be better supported both domestically and at the international level, for the immediate improvement of casualty recording worldwide.

Advocacy Sheet: Recording casualties and the UN Programme of action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (2012)

Action on Armed Violence, Article 36, PAX and Oxford Research Group issued this advocacy sheet for delegates to the Review Conference of the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Ams, taking place from 27 August to 7 September in New York. The sheet urges states to emphasise the importance of casualty recording and victims’ rights in the context of addressing the impact of gun violence and combatting the illicit trade in small arms.

A Charter for the Recognition of Every Casualty of Armed Violence (2011)

The Charter, a key document of the Every Casualty Campaign, was launched in 2011 by a group of casualty-recording practitioners and other civil society organisations.

Civil Society Statement: Principles on Armed Violence Measurement and Monitoring (2011)

In January 2011, 34 representatives of civil society organizations and independent experts met in Amsterdam to share experiences on how to address the problem of armed violence. One of the topics discussed was measuring and monitoring armed violence, and participants addressed questions relating to the purpose, content, structure and usage of a comprehensive national armed violence database and system.

Working Paper: The Legal Obligation to Record Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict (2011)

This Every Casualty working paper identifies an international legal obligation to record the civilian casualties of armed conflict, based on extensive research into international customary humanitarian law and the treaties that embody obligations for states in international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Discussion Paper: Drone Attacks, International Law, and the Recording of Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict (2011) 

This Every Casualty discussion paper looks at the legal obligation to record civilan casualties in the context of unmanned drone attacks in South Asia and the Middle East. There is a requirement in law for those who use or authorise the use of drone strikes to account for the civilian casualties that result from them and to ensure that a mechanism is put in place to guarantee compliance with international law. This is not currently complied with.

Lessons of History: British War Dead in the 1940s and Public Protest (2011)

In this guest article, historian Seumas Spark explains that public pressure was a critical factor in forcing the British state to afford better treatment to the national war dead. Current practice ensures that the identity and location of British military dead are recorded promptly and accurately and the wishes of bereaved relatives are accommodated: the catalyst for this was public pressure exerted on the military establishment in the 1940s. The author argues that public pressure may prove to be a similarly decisive factor in ensuring that every casualty of contemporary conflict is recorded.

Policy Paper: Measuring and Monitoring Armed Violence (2010)

This paper, prepared by the Secretariat of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development (GD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), sets out a framework of goals, targets and indicators to track armed violence, and to support prevention and reduction activities. The framework is based on extensive consultations with UN agencies and specialists in various disciplines. 

In Everyone's Interest: recording all the dead, not just our own (2009) 

This article, originally published in the British Army Review and co-authored by Every Casualty with a British Army Colonel, argues that Britain and the British Army has powerful, pragmatic reasons for both collating and releasing information on civilian casualties in war zones. It also demonstrates that such mechanisms would be easily implementable, and cost little.

Bold New Claims, No New Evidence: NATO's 'avoidance' of civilian harm needs measuring, not re-stating (2009)

On the 22 of October 2009 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen posted a video message on his website in response to the question, "For every taliban you kill how many of the civilian population to you kill or injure? Do you expect those injured will see you as liberators from the taliban tyranny?" This article by Every Casualty examines Rasmussen's claim that civilian casualties are down, arguing that this needs to be supported with transparent records of all casualties.