What is Iraq Body Count? This area of the website provides background information on the project, including its aims and methods. The current page summarises the scope and limitations, as well as listing the major sources of income.
IBC in context provides a more analytical summary of IBC’s distinct features and social impact.
IBC web counters make it easier to keep up to date with our latest figures.
Iraq: Journalists in Danger from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is a regularly updated resource on journalists and media support workers killed in Iraq.
icasualties.org covers military and other categories of deaths not recorded by IBC.
About the Iraq Body Count project
Iraq Body Count (IBC) records the violent deaths that have resulted from the 2003 military intervention in Iraq. Its detailed public database includes civilian deaths caused by US-led coalition and Iraqi government forces and paramilitary or criminal attacks by others.
IBC’s documentary evidence is drawn from crosschecked media reports of violence leading to deaths, or of bodies being found, and is supplemented by the careful review and integration of hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures or records.
Systematically extracted details about deadly incidents and the individuals killed in them are stored with every entry in the database. The minimum details always extracted are the number killed, where, and when. Whenever possible, other details about the killed (e.g. names, demographics) and of the circumstances of their death (weapons used, perpetrators) are included.
Confusion about the numbers produced by the project can be avoided by bearing in mind that:
- IBC’s figures are not statistical ‘estimates’ but a record of actual, documented deaths.
- IBC records solely violent deaths.
- IBC’s detailed database records solely civilian (strictly, ‘non-combatant’) deaths. A separate total that includes combatant deaths is provided on the homepage.
- IBC’s figures are constantly updated and revised as new data comes in, and frequent consultation is advised.
IBC builds on innovative uses of new technologies without which this citizens’ initiative would be impossible. The project was founded in January 2003 by volunteers from the UK and USA who felt a responsibility to ensure that the human consequences of military intervention in Iraq were not neglected.
Iraq Body Count is administered by Conflict Casualties Monitor, a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 6594314) registered in England and Wales.
86-90 Paul Street
Finally, IBC could not exist without the journalists and media support workers, Iraqi and international, who labour to report war’s daily carnage at the risk, and all too often the cost, of their health or their lives.
For more on IBC’s principles and objectives see the Rationale.
For a more detailed description of IBC’s working methodology and inclusion criteria, see the Methods section.
For technical, research and media contacts, conditions of use, as well as a listing of IBC personnel, see Contacts/Staff.
Where our income comes from
1 Funders of IBC include:
Contracts and commissions, including from:
Throughout our existence, our steadiest source of income has been from concerned individuals. These donations to IBC have been particularly valuable to us when conditions in Iraq have taken a sustained turn for the worse and necessarily required greater monitoring and recording efforts, such as most recently in the period beginning early 2013.
More occasionally throughout our 13 years of existence we have received research- and project-specific grants, principally from foundations and charities focused on peace-building and conflict resolution. Our current and past funder organisations are listed to the right. 1
We are deeply grateful for every type of financial support received, but it has nearly always fallen far short of the actual costs of the work. The project has only kept going because of very substantial long-term personal investments (of both time and money) from a handful of project volunteers.