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.

Every Casualty: An organisation dedicated to the improvement of casualty recording

First published 1st Oct 2014

October 1st marks the launch of Every Casualty Worldwide, a civil society organisation dedicated to the improvement of casualty recording more...

New Civil Society Organisation for Casualty Recording

First published 1st Sep 2014

The Every Casualty Programme, founded within Oxford Research Group (ORG) in 2007, is to become an independent self-governing organisation from October 1st 2014.
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campaign ipn press releases

Measuring and Monitoring Armed Violence: EC at the Geneva Declaration Regional Review Conference 

First published 17th Jul 2014

Members of the Every Casualty Campaign, including the Every Casualty Programme at Oxford Research Group and Action on Armed Violence, spoke earlier this month at the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Regional Review Conference for Europe, the Caucuses and Central Asia.   more...

Press release: Systematically recording the casualties of armed violence can help save lives

First published 16th Apr 2014

Recording and analysing data on the casualties of conflict and armed violence can improve the protection of civilians and save lives. This is the conclusion of two reports released today by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and the Every Casualty Programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). more...

Every Casualty endorses open letter on Sustainable Development Goal targets

First published 7th Apr 2014

Every Casualty joins others in endorsing an open letter on Sustainable Development Goals more...

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States recognise importance of casualty data to peacekeeping missions

First published 4th Mar 2014

Protection of Civilians debate: States recognise the importance of timely and accurate casualty information to enhance peacekeeping missions and operations 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 featured in El Pais article,  La misión de contar muertos

First published 7th Oct 2013

The work of Every Casualty featured in an article written last month for Spanish Newspaper El Pais by Nairara Gortazar. more...

MoD commissions report on how to 'sell wars to the public'

First published 30th Sep 2013

Reducing the visibility of military causalities may be one way to ‘sell wars to the public’ according to a Ministry of Defence strategy report recently obtained by the Guardian through the Freedom of Information Act. 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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Statement on Casualty Recording and Military Intervention in Syria

First published 5th Sep 2013

In light of the debate currently taking place among many states on proposed military intervention in Syria, members of the Every Casualty Campaign call on all parties involved to ensure that every casualty of the conflict in Syria is promptly recorded, correctly identified, and publicly acknowledged. more...

Casualty recording and campaigning against weapons

First published 6th Aug 2013

Casualty recording plays a crucial role in efforts to curb the use of certain weapons through drawing attention to their humanitarian impact, shows a recently published article by Every Casualty Campaign member Article 36. more...

Casualty recording, weapons and victims' rights

First published 31st May 2013

On 15 April 2013 every casualty campaign members Article 36 and Action on Armed Violence held an event at the Intersessional Meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The importance of casualty recording for violence reduction, victims' rights, and drawing attention to the impact of certain weapons were discussed. 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...

Published: Study into good practice in conflict casualty recording

First published 22nd Oct 2012

The Every Casualty programme at Oxford Research Group has published the largest-ever study into casualty recording practice worldwide. Conducted over two years, the study examines the work of 40 practitioner groups and individuals working in different conflict and post-conflict environments. more...

The struggle against the toxic politics of casualty numbers in Syria

First published 26th Jul 2012

The way that death toll figures are often presented in press and media reports might lead one to think that we don't (and can't) know very much about the deadly violence in Syria. However, attempts are being made by civil society groups to replace unsubstantiated rhetoric with reliable records. Hana Salama, Coordinator of the ORG-facilitated  International Practitioner Network (IPN) of casualty recording organisations, explores how these organisations do their work, and how their work should be assessed. The article was first published on guardian.co.uk's Comment is Free on 14 July 2012. 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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Leading by example: The UN Human Rights Council's report on casualties in Libya

First published 20th Mar 2012

Although out of the spotlight, the intervention in Libya remains a point of contention internationally. The publication this month of the UN Human Rights Council's International Commission of Inquiry's second report provides both new information on civilian casualties and a formal call upon NATO to do its share to record them. more...

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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100 additional NGOs and associations sign up to the charter

First published 14th Feb 2012

The Network for Peace Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)  and their campaign Choosing Peace Together has signed on 100 Additional NGOs to the Charter for the Recognition of Every Casualty in Armed Violence.  more...

In strikes on Libya by NATO, an unspoken civilian toll

First published 4th Jan 2012

This New York Times article extends this newspaper's concern for the unaccounted casualties of the Libya intervention more...

Tamil Information Centre press release

First published 29th Nov 2011

The Tamil Information Centre calls on the Sri Lanka government to create a single authoritative record of casualties of Armed Violence. more...

Libya counts its martyrs, but the bodies don't add up

First published 25th Oct 2011

This New York Times article, comparing claims by the NTC about the number of casualties of the war in Libya with the current verifiable death toll, draws attention to the tendency of political leaders in conflict to issue round-number casualty totals, which are uncorroborated by any verifiable data. 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...

Presentation: methods research, early impressions

First published 25th Oct 2011

This 15 minute slideshow discusses some preliminary impressions from Oxford Research Group's research to analyse how different organisations worldwide are recording violent deaths from conflict. more...

Video: Launch of the Charter for the recognition of Every Casualty

First published 25th Oct 2011

On the 15 September 2011 the Charter for the recognition of every casualty of armed violence was launched at the British Academy in London. The public launch included speeches from Wissam Tarif of Insan, who work in Syria, and Sandra Orlović of the Humanitarian Law Centre-Serbia and Bekim Blakaj of the Humanitarian Law Centre-Kosovo, who discussed how the Charter's core demands are both important to their work and necessary as standards for the world community. more...

Presentation: why we should document every casualty of conflict, both civilian and combatant

First published 25th Oct 2011

On 9 May 2011, Elizabeth Minor of Oxford Research Group's everycasualty programme made this presentation to Café Diplo, the meeting series of the friends of Le Monde Diplomatique Newspaper in London. Setting the arguments in the context of current and former conflicts, from Libya to Afghanistan, Iraq to Bosnia, Elizabeth demonstrates the social, political and human importance of recording every casualty of conflict as an individual. 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...

New initiative on recording casualties of armed violence

First published 20th Oct 2011

The Every Casualty programme's press release for the launch of the Charter for the recognition of every casualty of armed violence. more...