Casualty Recording

Victims of the 1994 genocide - Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Rwanda

Family photographs in Rwanda genocide memorial

Casualty recording is the process of documenting every death in a particular armed conflict, region or context. The aim is to identify every victim individually and, where possible, the circumstances of their death.

Casualty recording is intricately linked to a variety of humanitarian and human rights concerns. Effective casualty recording can help protect civilians in conflict areas, and uphold the rights and dignity of survivors for generations. 

Casualty records have provided valuable evidence in accountability processes, international criminal prosecutions, and compensation procedures. They have also formed the basis of public memorials, and allowed survivors to know the fate of their loved ones. Information contained in casualty records also helps monitor whether parties to conflict are complying with humanitarian law, and identify how they can reduce the harm caused to civilians.

Casualty recording is about more than just fatality statistics. It is about recognising the rights and dignity of every individual affected by armed conflict.

Find out more about casualty recording in FAQs or by searching the knowledge base for more detailed answers on specific issues.

Casualty Recording Organisations

ECC coordinates the Casualty Recorders Network, which brings together diverse casualty recording organisations across the globe. The network enables members to share their knowledge and experience, and to advocate on issues of shared interest. You can find out more about individual CRN members in the Casualty Recording Organisations database. To find out more about the network and how to join, please contact us.

Search Resources for standards, guidance and other materials for casualty recorders.

Memorial to the survivors of the Khmer Rouge - Cambodia
A survivor searches for his parents’ names in a memorial to victims of the Khmer Rouge – Cambodia