What data does the Monitor collect?

Security Force Monitor researches and creates data about three things (or entities) related to security forces around the world:

  • Organizations are official state or state-sanctioned organizations responsible for the internal or external security for a country, including the police, army, navy, air force and other security forces. Organizations refer to any any part of the hierarchy of a security force, ranging from a national defense ministry, to a police unit based in a small town. Organizations can also be groupings of organizations that occur, such as "operations", "joint task forces" or peacekeeping missions. The Monitor collects data about an organization's name, aliases, location, geographical areas of operation and relationships with other organizations.

  • Persons are natural persons who are affiliated with, or hold positions of command over a specific organization at a particular point in time. The Monitor creates a dossier for each person, which includes their name, aliases, rank, title, role and the different organizations which they are affiliated with.

  • Incidents are publicly-documented allegations of human rights violations committed by security forces. These include extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and other forms of violence. The Monitor does not make allegations itself, but rather complies allegations made by governmental bodies, human rights organizations and other civil society actors. For each incident, the Monitor includes a description from the source, date(s), specific location(s), its perpetrators and the type of human rights violation.

Every piece of data collected by the Monitor is individually sourced and each data point about Persons and Organizations are assigned a confidence rating. The Research Handbook section on sources and confidence provides more guidance about this aspect of the data.

Detailed guidance about the fields used by the Monitor to record data about Organizations, Persons and Incidents is provided in the remainder of this document.