Briefing Paper: Tracking Conflict-Related Deaths (March 2017)

from Small Arms Survey
Published on 31 Mar 2017 View Original


In the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, states have pledged to track the number of people who are killed in armed conflict and to disaggregate the data by sex, age, and cause—as per Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 16.1.2. However, there is no international consensus on definitions, methods, or standards to be used in generating the data. Moreover, monitoring systems run by international organizations and civil society differ in terms of their thematic coverage, geographical focus, and level of disaggregation. By highlighting these variations and related limitations, this Briefing Paper aims to contribute to the development of a standardized methodology for this indicator.

Key findings

  • Data on conflict-related deaths is collected and disseminated mostly by UN missions, academic projects, research institutes, and civil society organizations. Only one country’s national statistical office (NSO)—Colombia’s—currently acts as a source of data on conflict-related deaths.

  • Only one-third of the reviewed monitoring systems offer disaggregated data on the sex and age of victims and on the type of weapon used, and even fewer sources gather detailed data on victims’ profiles.

  • In the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, partnerships between NSOs and other monitoring systems, including international and non-governmental organizations, can allow for the incorporation of valuable additional data on conflict-related deaths.

  • To ensure accuracy and comparability of data on conflictrelated deaths—especially if integrative monitoring approaches are to be implemented—common definitions and guidelines must be established to promote the standardization of the collection, verification, and disaggregation of data.

Download Briefing Paper: Tracking Conflict-Related Deaths