By Taylor B. Seybolt
A favored fable emerged within the overdue Nineteen Nineties: in 1900, wars killed one civilian for each 8 infantrymen, whereas modern wars have been killing 8 civilians for each one soldier. The neat reversal of numbers used to be memorable, and educational courses and UN records frequently mentioned it. The extra it used to be mentioned, the extra depended on it grew to become. in truth, even though, next learn discovered no empirical facts for the concept that the ratio of civilians to infantrymen killed in struggle has replaced dramatically. yet whereas the ratios won't have replaced, the political importance of civilian casualties has risen tremendously.
Over the earlier century, civilians in warfare have long gone from having no specific rights to having felony protections and rights that start to rival these accorded to states. the worry for civilians in clash has develop into so robust that governments sometimes adopt humanitarian interventions, at nice chance and colossal rate, to guard strangers in far-off lands. I n the early Nineteen Nineties, the UN protection Council licensed army interventions to assist feed and guard civilians within the Kurdish sector of Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia. And in may possibly 2011 , Barack Obama 's nationwide safety consultant defined the U.S.' choice to help NATO's army intervention in those phrases "When the president made this choice, there has been a right away possibility to 700,000 Libyan civilians within the city of Benghazi. we now have had successful the following when it comes to with the ability to guard these civilians."
Counting Civilian Casualties aims to advertise open clinical discussion through excessive lighting fixtures the strengths and weaknesses of the main generic casualty recording and estimation suggestions in an comprehensible structure. Its 13 chapters, each one authoritative yet obtainable to nonspecialists, discover a number of techniques, from direct recording to statistical estimation and sampling, to gathering information on civilian deaths as a result of clash. The individuals additionally talk about their respective merits and drawbacks, and examine how figures are used (and misused) by way of governments, rebels, human rights advocates, conflict crimes tribunals, and others. as well as offering analysts with a large variety of instruments to provide exact info, this may be an in necessary source for policymakers, army officers, jou rnalists, human rights activists, courts, and usual those that are looking to be extra informed--and skeptical--consumers of casualty counts.
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Additional resources for Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict
Who Did What to Whom? Planning and Implementing a Large Scale Human Rights Data Project. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science. html. Brunborg, Helge, Ewa Tabeau, and Henrik Urdal, eds. 2010. The Demography of Armed Conflict. New York: Springer. Burnham, Gilbert, R. Lafta, S. Doocy, and L. Roberts. 2006. ” The Lancet 368(9545): 1421–1428. , and Elizabeth M. Cousens. 2008. ” International Studies Perspective 9(1): 1–21. Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC).
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the concept in a formal Statement to the Security Council in December 2010. ). The other initiative, called the “Every Casualty Campaign,” calls on every government to go beyond established legal obligations and to fully report on all people killed in armed violence, 20 Who Counts? using transparent, agreed-upon recording mechanisms, a call that the editors of this volume support (see the concluding chapter; Every Casualty Campaign 2012). In summary, over the past century, the status of civilians in war has changed such that people who had no legal standing now possess rights that (in principle) begin to rival those accorded to states.
Australian military intervention stopped Indonesian militia groups from attacking the civilian population in Timor-Leste (known at the time as East Timor) after the people voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999; the European Union conducted “Operation Artemis” in 2003 to protect civilians from rebel and militia groups vying for political and territorial control in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the joint United Nations–African Union operation in Darfur, Sudan received a civilian protection mandate from the Security Council in 2007, in response to widespread attacks on civilians.
Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict by Taylor B. Seybolt