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In early 2006 IBC was invited to introduce its work at a Working Group Meeting on methods used by researchers to estimate armed conflict deaths (organised by the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, 17 Feb 2006).

Well-received by experts at the meeting, On Iraq Body Count summarised the project’s key features and innovations.

Rooted in the peace movement. Records unnecessary deaths not ‘excess deaths’ deaths.

  • open source web-based independent citizen initiative
  • open-ended project aiming at full accounting of all casualties
  • sourced by searching web-published media reports
  • media reports collected within days
  • corroboration of any report of death from at least two sources

On IBC slide 2

1.0 Our project is rooted in the mainstream peace movement, which primarily opposes wars for being unnecessary.

By unnecessary we mean that they are not genuine measures of last resort, having been chosen before all other courses of action were properly explored. Thus, the underlying concept is one of recording unnecessary deaths (rather than simply "excess" deaths).

  1. This is an "open source" project, in which the aim is that all significant data, commentary, and contextual information, is to be found on the web-site

  2. It is a private citizen initiative, based on volunteer labour and individual donations. It is not obligated to any government, organisation, or interest-group.

  3. It is also an "open-ended" project, in that the database is continually being updated as reports of new civilian deaths are published, and in theory will continue so until something close to a final accounting of Iraqi casualties is arrived at.