Casualty recording is a practice that strives to achieve the comprehensive, systematic and continuous documentation of individual deaths or injuries from armed violence and the incidents in which they occur.
To fully understand the human costs of conflict, and to assess the impact of particular tactics of violence, knowing the specifics about the casualties of violence – including where, when, and how people have been killed and injured, and who they were – is of primary importance. Deaths and injuries are far from the only human costs of violence that should be considered in policy-making. Yet where there is a lack of credible and transparent data on casualties, the impact and acceptability of certain tactics cannot be assessed, with consequent negative repercussions for victims, communities and policy-makers. Casualty recording involves documenting as much distinguishing information as possible about incidents or individuals.
Casualty recording strives to achieve the comprehensive, systematic and continuous documentation of individual casualties from armed violence, and/or the incidents in which these occur. It is distinct from ‘casualty tracking’, which involves a conflict party systematically gathering and analysing data about their own operations, and its effects on the civilian population. Casualty recording is also distinct from statistical techniques that use a sample of cases to estimate total numbers of casualties.
LOSING SIGHT OF THE HUMAN COST: Casualty recording and remote control warfare, p. 2