Casualty recording news & views

The items posted here illustrate why transparent, humanising casualty recording is crucial. Although news reports of casualties are a staple of journalism, less frequently explored are the complexities of the recording process, the immediate and long-term benefits of doing it properly and the many harms involved in failing to do so. This collection examines those issues.

Inside the advocacy group recording victims of forced disappearances in Turkey: An interview with Hafiza Merkezi 

First published 14th Jan 2015

Every Casualty speaks with Ozgur Goral, the head of the Documentation Programme at Hafiza Merkezi, a Turkish civil society organisation dedicated to documenting the lives of victims of state abuse.  more...

UN Secretary General supports victim's right to truth on Human Rights Day

First published 10th Dec 2014

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlights victim's right to truth about violations; emphasises the role of recognition in supporting human dignity  more...

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Casualty recording helps reduce armed violence, civilian casualties: new paper from AOAV

First published 2nd Jun 2014

A new policy paper from Action on Armed Violence shows the ways in which casualty records can help to reduce and prevent incidences of violence and resultant civilian casualties more...

Video: Every Casualty speaks with practitioners at ICMP conference

First published 12th Mar 2014

Every Casualty speaks with attendees of the ICMP conference, The Missing: An Agenda for the Future more...

Accepting truth, acknowledging loss: casualty records from Katyn to Afghanistan

First published 28th Oct 2013

A lack of transparency surrounding records of casualties in armed conflict continues to hamper reconciliation efforts everywhere from Poland to Afghanistan - even decades after the end of a conflict. The United States refusal to identify or publicly acknowledge drone strike casualties is a worrying continuation of this trend.  more...

Social media likely to provide key evidence for war crimes in Syria

First published 7th Oct 2013

Evidence gathered from social media will likely play a key role in the prosecution of war crimes in Syria, explained Every Casualty Co-Director Hamit Dardagan in an article recently published in German daily, Deutsche Welle. more...

Every Casualty marks the launch of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's 'Naming the Dead' Project

First published 26th Sep 2013

On the evening of the 24th of September, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in partnership with the Every Casualty Campaign, held an event at Somerset House to mark the launch of TBIJ’s new ‘Naming the Dead’ project. 
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Forensic anthropology in Guatemala: video interview with Fredy Peccerelli

First published 12th Mar 2013

In this video, Fredy Peccerelli describes the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG)'s work to identify and analyse the remains people missing from the decades-long conflict in Guatemala. He describes the contribution of this work to criminal proceedings relating to events during the conflict, the context of the work, and its challenges. more...

The Halabja Project: Uncovering the truth 25 years later

First published 11th Dec 2012

25 years later, the Kurdish Regional Government is still decontaminating  the town of Halabja from the horrific chemical  attacks in 1988 and beginning to uncover the truth behind the attacks. more...

Towards the Recording of Every Casualty: Summary of the methods research launch at USIP

First published 6th Nov 2012

In this article originally published on the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) website, USIP comment on the launch of the casualty recording practice research launched at their Washington D.C. headquarters in October 2012, and which they funded. more...

Casualty Recording at the Protection of Civilians Debate

First published 12th Jul 2012

On June 26, 2012 the Security Council met under the Chinese presidency  for the Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (PoC). Some 45 countries spoke during the debate, with a number of them explicitly recognising the need for improved casualty recording practices in armed conflict in their statements. To our knowledge this is the first time that the issue of casualty recording methods has been explicitly raised at the Security Council, and this offers a significant new opportunity for making progress on this issue in collaboration with states and inter-state bodies.
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NATO Watch Press Brief

First published 28th Feb 2012

UK Defence Committee claims that civilian casualties from NATO bombing in Libya 'cannot be counted' and admits that it ‘does not have the power’ to press for scrutiny of NATO's analysis of the conflict
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Towards drone attack accountability

First published 23rd Feb 2012

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is one of the handful of organisations globally that thoroughly investigate drone casualties in Pakistan.  more...

Afghan civilians killed or wounded by British forces: the investigations listed

First published 25th Oct 2011

This article by the Guardian illustrates the existence of systematic and comprehensive recording by the UK government of a specific category of casualty over an extended period of time, and the (partial) publication of detailed data from that recording activity at the level of individual incident.  more...

Libya: the toll NATO didn't count

First published 25th Oct 2011

Hamit Dardagan of Iraq Body Count and the everycasualty programme highlights Nato's failure even to attempt a comprehensive accounting of civilian casualties in Libya despite their protection being the stated purpose of the Alliance's intervention. more...

The people on the street document casualties – why can't governments?

First published 25th Oct 2011

John Sloboda of Oxford Research Group's everycasualty programme looks at the citizen led efforts to record and memorialise the dead of the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, and argues that all war victims deserve that same treatment. more...

Drones and the legal obligation to record casualties: presentation by Professor Susan Breau

First published 25th Oct 2011

On Thursday 23 June at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Oxford Research Group's everycasualty programme launched our major finding that there is a legal obligation to record every casualty of conflict, and that this obligation applies to the drone strikes being conducted in Pakistan and Yemen by the CIA. This is the presentation of Professor Susan Breau, Legal Consultant to everycasualty and Professor of International Law at Flinders University. more...

Truth seeking, truth telling and truth keeping in Bosnia and Herzegovina: interview with Mirsad Tokača

First published 25th Oct 2011

In this interview Mirsad Tokača, Director of the Research and Documentation Center of Sarajevo (RDC), discusses the work of his organisation to document human losses in Bosnia, and the Center's aim of contributing to processes of Transitional Justice in a society with a deeply contested recent past by providing solid records, and hence truth. more...

After Libya, let us learn to count every casualty of war

First published 20th Oct 2011

The Guardian's Jonathan Steele, who was present at the launch of the Charter for the recognition of every casualty of armed violence at the British Academy on 14 September in London, welcomes the charter and discusses its pertinence to Libya and beyond in the first major op-ed focusing on the charter and the NGOs who back it. more...

Drone warfare: cost and challenge

First published 20th Oct 2011

The repositioning of the United States' military strategy includes a great expansion in the use of armed drones to attack targets in Pakistan and Yemen. This development raises profound legal and ethical questions including the need to record the casualties of such attacks, argues Paul Rogers in this piece originally published on OpenDemocracy. more...