Beyond the Battlefield - Towards a Better Assessment of the Human Cost of Armed Conflict

Prevailing methods for measuring conflict deaths do not capture the total human cost of armed conflict. In the context of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, one global indicator will deal with conflict-related deaths. Various stakeholders have thus called for the monitoring of conflict deaths to become more holistic and go beyond battle deaths, specifically by covering indirect factors such as a lack of access to healthcare, food, and clean water. This Briefing Paper supports their call, arguing that the current understanding of—and measurement approaches to—conflict-related deaths should be broadened to include more comprehensive mortality figures from conflict zones, particularly among forcibly displaced populations. Its findings are designed to inform work towards meeting Target 1 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which commits all UN member states to significantly reducing ‘all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere’. Specifically, the paper is intended to help shape the development of SDG Indicator 16.1.2, which will guide the measurement of conflict-related deaths.

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Publisher

2017