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.

Casualty figures for Syria, Ukraine, and Gaza: who is providing them and how?

First published 24th Sep 2014

Following the publication of casualty figures for the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Gaza this summer, we look into the origins of these numbers and what they tell us. more...

Syrian Casualties: Who's counting?

First published 3rd Jun 2014

While the UN stopped publishing casualty figures of the Syrian conflict early this year, several organisations continue to keep detailed records of the conflict's casualties. more...

civilian casualties data ipn media politics of numbers syria

"Bosnian Book of the Dead": A Book for the Living

First published 29th Jan 2013

Research and Documentation Center (RDC) -member of the International Practitioners Network has launched "The Bosnian Book of the Dead" a Book which recalls  the names of over 95 000 victims of the 1990's conflict in the Balkans. 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...

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...

campaign libya nato politics of numbers

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...

campaign libya politics of numbers

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...