Every Casualty Counts is an independent not-for-profit organisation, exclusively focused on promoting effective casualty recording in situations of armed violence.
We have over a decade of experience working with civil society organisations, national authorities and international organisations to promote best practice in casualty recording worldwide.
Our institutional knowledge is grounded in the collective expertise of the large and varied network of casualty recording organisations and casualty data end-users with whom we work. Together these partners incorporate the full spectrum of casualty recording experiences, covering the majority of current and recent conflicts. Their work includes both field-based and remote, open- and primary-sourced initiatives. They include civil society, state, military and inter-governmental organisations, ranging in size from one volunteer to a staff of hundreds. Every aspect of our work is founded in the real life experiences and challenges of these practising casualty recorders.
Every Casualty Counts supports and promotes the development of casualty recording as an expert field. We do this through research into and dissemination of best practice, providing expert advice, and encouraging the sharing of knowledge and experience among diverse organisations and regions. We also work with allies to promote international political recognition of casualty recording as a human right, and the associated legal obligation of states.
Every Casualty Counts was formerly known as Every Casualty Worldwide. We are a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 09082055) and Registered Charity (No. 1166974) in England and Wales, and have IRC 501(c)(3) status in the United States. We are not affiliated to any political organisation or movement.
Gavin leads Every Casualty as Executive Director. He is responsible for developing strategy, cultivating our talented team and engaging externally.
Gavin has over 20 years’ experience in senior positions leading teams in humanitarian INGOs and the UK government. He has worked with the highest levels of government and in the international system, including as the UK government’s international climate finance negotiator at the EU and UN.
Gavin has worked on a wide range of issues including refugee response, preventing sexual violence in conflict and the children in armed conflict agenda. He has also led successful public campaigns to end violence against children in emergencies.
Gavin joined Every Casualty from Concern UK, where he was Director of Policy and Campaigns. He tweets @gavincrowden.
Rachel has worked as a researcher and advocate in the human rights sector for almost twenty years. Before joining Every Casualty she was the Director of Programmes at Child Soldiers International, where she led the launch of a global database on child military exploitation. Previously Rachel was a Europe and Central Asia Researcher at Amnesty International, with responsibility for Spain, Portugal and the French-speaking countries of Western Europe. She has worked on issues ranging from asylum to torture, counter-terrorism, women’s prisons, and child soldiers. In 2018 she co-authored ‘Why 18 Matters’, which challenges the legality of the military recruitment of minors in countries including the UK and USA.
Rachel’s work has frequently focused on engaging with UN member states, human rights bodies and humanitarian agencies to seek change in international law. She has also worked directly with government ministers, security agencies and the judiciary to improve national practice in various states.
Network Development Lead
Federica holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Before joining ECC, she had been working in the humanitarian and development sector for over 15 years, of which over a decade was spent working with the International Committee of the Red Cross in the field and at HQ. She has been working in several contexts around the world, such as Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Afghanistan, Armenia, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Kosovo, Italy, France, Brussels, Geneva, Jerusalem and Gaza. Over the years, she has focused her work on programmes supporting missing people or the dead and their families, joining forces with all relevant stakeholders including governments and other decision-makers, to encourage them to uphold their obligations under International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.
Professor Michael Spagat, PhD
Chair of the Board
Mike Spagat is a Professor of Economics at Royal Holloway University of London. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and earlier held faculty posts at Brown University and the University of Illinois. Professor Spagat’s papers on armed conflict have been published in Nature, Scientific Reports, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Peace Research, the Journal of Conflict Resolution and PLoS Medicine among other places. His current research addresses universal patterns in modern war, fabrication in survey research, the possible decline of war, the impact of drone strikes, civilian casualties in the Iraq conflict and problems in the measurement of war deaths. Professor Spagat is also on the Board of Action on Armed Violence, blog at War, Numbers and Human Losses, tweets and periodically offers two free online courses with FutureLearn – “Accounting for Death in War” and “Survival Statistics“.
Professor Susan Breau, PhD
Professor Breau is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, Canada. She was the Head of the School of Law at the University of Reading, UK from 2014-2018. Her distinguished record of research and scholarship specialises in multiple forms of law and legal orders, particularly in the law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international disaster law.
Professor Breau gained Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Arts degrees at Queen’s University, Canada. She practiced law in Kingston, Ontario, for almost 20 years before completing Master of Laws and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has taught and lectured at law schools throughout the United Kingdom and Australia. Professor Breau was the Dorset Fellow in Public International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.
Dr. Breau was the lead author of the paper The Legal Obligation to Record Casualties of Armed Conflict. This was the first and most extensive analysis of states’ existing legal obligations concerning casualty recording under international humanitarian and human rights law.
Mr. Iain Overton
Iain Overton is the executive director at the London-based nonprofit Action on Armed Violence. He has been witness to the devastating impact of armed violence on numerous occasions and has reported on conflict or extremes of violence in Ukraine, Syria/Jordan, Pakistan, Philippines, Kosovo, Nagorno Karabakh, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Iraq, Solomon Islands, Mexico, the West Bank, Somalia and Liberia. Iain’s human rights reporting has been awarded a Peabody Award, two Amnesty Awards and a BAFTA Scotland, among others. Iain is the author of ‘Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey Into the World of Firearms’ (2015) and ‘The Price of Paradise: How the Suicide Bomber Shaped the Modern Age’ (2019). He holds an MPhil and BA from Cambridge University.
Ms. Shareen Holmer
Shareen is an accomplished change manager with extensive experience in developing and implementing innovative management strategies and delivering change and operational programmes for organisations in rapidly changing environments. Her experience is from the public sector and industry. She has a proven record of meeting strong market demands through project and change management including cultural change, always with the goal of creating positive environments.
Shareen’s values are people and performance based in Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). This EDI thread has run through all her roles, and she is now reading (part-time) for a Doctorate in organisational diversity. She is driven by new challenges, dynamic environments and the opportunity to seek and enact ways of doings things better.
Mr. Jay Ahmed
Jay’s relationship with Every Casualty started in 2021 when he was appointed as a trustee and honorary treasurer.
Jay brings a wealth of treasury, investment and risk management experience to Every Casualty. He currently holds a senior treasury role within a specialist bank, and has previously worked at the UK’s largest building society, Tier 1 investment bank and global credit rating agency.
“In my role as a trustee, it is for me to challenge and support the team at Every Casualty, so that collectively we can continue to promote our work. I enjoy being part of a small organisation that has a purpose, adds a different dimension to the commercial life and allows me to give something back.”
Jay lives with his family, and has a passion for food and running.