On Civilian Harm

Portraits of the five panelists for the On Civilian Harm event

On Civilian Harm, an open-access book from PAX, draws attention to the broader negative impact that violent conflict and international interventions have on civilians, challenging stakeholders to broaden the scope from civilian deaths as impact of conflict, to also include property damage, psychological trauma, displacement, and so on. In this event, Erin Bijl (one of the authors) will explain how the book’s case studies and themes expand our traditional understanding of civilian harm. Marc Garlasco (ESIA MA '95) will follow the introduction with a discussion of how organizations investigate civilian casualties in the field. He has conducted investigations for the US military, the United Nations, and NGOs and will discuss the different methodologies and challenges faced by these organizations conducting this research. Finally, he will discuss how the Department of Defense is dealing with recent civilian casualty incidents such as the Kabul drone strike and Barghouz strike in Syria. Brittany Roser will be available to discuss PAX's advocacy with the United Nations and how they are working to get UN missions to improve civilian protection. Dr. Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre, Director of the Humanitarian Action Initiative at GWU, will also serve as a discussant, sharing her insights on the book and the implications for humanitarian action. Dr. Paul D. Williams will serve as the moderator for this talk. This event is sponsored by the Security Policy Studies Program, the Humanitarian Action Initiative, and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.