Documentary evidence: official reports and data

Official reports relevant for casualty recording include those produced by states, or by state-funded agencies, such as the police, the military, hospitals and morgues, and courts, state-mandated or state-authorised international organisations, and organisations such as the International Commission on Missing Persons and international and regional courts. They are either incident-based, or aggregated/integrative.

Incident-based reports are documents produced by specific agencies as part of their own bureaucratic procedures, and designed primarily for internal purposes rather than public release. In some circumstances, incident reports are made public in the form of official statements or press releases, often within 24 hours. These may be supplemented by reports that emerge from investigatory or legal processes.

Integrative reports provide aggregated casualty data over a given area or period of time; they are provided by state ministries or committees tasked with collating this information. However, reports about casualties from central government generally did not document individual incidents or casualties, but rather provided figures on trends in different types of incident, in the context of state priorities.