Direct and indirect conflict deaths

Some recorders limit their records to 'direct deaths' from conflict violence. Others include 'indirect deaths', which were not the direct result of a deliberate act of armed violence that may or may not have been directed at the victim, but can be linked to the conflict.

Direct deaths result directly from the violent actions of participants to the conflict, during conflict activities. Indirect deaths might happen as a consequence of conflict (e.g. a person dies because they had a life-threatening illness but could not reach a hospital because of hostilities), or where death was a result of the conduct or effects of conflict (e.g. a person dies in a road accident with a military vehicle). Some recorders document indirect deaths separately in their information system. The direct/indirect distinction can be useful to casualty recorders in order to keep their records of conflict deaths as closely related as possible to the immediate consequences of conflict violence. It can also help clarify terms such as ‘victims of war’.