Difficulties accessing information

Accessing information may be difficult for two reasons: limitations to the recorder's resources and capacity to investigate, and limitations of their sources; deliberate restrictions placed by others on information, and restrictions on physical access to it.

When faced with possible misinformation or inaccuracy, where a recorder cannot independently investigate, has difficulty accessing remote areas, or has no alternative sources to those that might be giving unreliable information, the recorder has difficulty in drawing robust conclusions on status. This is also the case when a recorder has conflicting information from different sources, or when the sources don’t give enough information.

The government in the country of conflict may try to restrict access to information on casualties, by blocking access to information from certain areas completely, or by making statements about casualties themselves, but not permitting independent investigators to enter the relevant areas. By these means the government becomes the only available, but not necessarily trustworthy, source.