CATEGORIES OF ARMED CONFLICT 
Conflicts are defined as inter-state or intra-state.

Inter-state: involving states in armed conflict with another state.

Intra-state: taking place between states and non-state armed groups, or between non-state armed groups. These conflicts can sometimes spill across international borders without being considered international conflicts between state parties.


 STATUS

Active: covers current conflicts which may vary from low-intensity (or intermittent) encounters to high-intensity (or constant) combat.

High intensity: frequent (daily) armed clashes between governments, government forces and insurgents, or among non-state armed groups that control territory. Typically, fatalities as a direct result of conflict exceed 3,000 per year.

Medium intensity: regular armed clashes between governments, government forces and insurgents, or among other non-state armed groups that control territory. Typically, fatalities as a direct result of conflict exceed 300 per year.

Low intensity: occasional clashes between governments, government forces and insurgents, or among other non-state armed groups that control territory. Fatalities as a direct result of conflict are typically below 300 per year.

Archived: no significant conflict activity for more than 12 months.


FATALITIES

Fatality statistics relate to military and civilian lives lost as a direct result of an armed conflict. The figures relate to the country of the main location of conflict. For some conflicts no reliable statistics are available. Estimates of conflict fatalities often vary considerably according to the source. In some cases, overall fatality figures are revised in light of new information. Changes in fatality figures may therefore occur both as a result of such revisions and due to an increase in fatalities.

TIME PERIOD 
Users are able to generate reports on conflict data dating back to 1997 and correlate reports from various years, conflicts, regions and topics. The database includes conflict reports from 2000/2001 onwards.

REFUGEES, RETURNEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS)

Refugees: According to the 1951 Geneva Convention (Article 1A(2)) the term ‘refugee’ is applied to a person who: ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his[/her] nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself[/herself] of the protection of his country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his[/her] former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.’

The total number of refugees refers to the number of refugees that are outside the country borders that specific year, and does not necessarily refer to the total amount of refugees that have left their country since the conflict started.

Refugee figures used in the ACD are sourced from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and are updated once a year, as and when the UNHCR figures become available. Information gathered from other sources throughout the year can be found in the human security reports.

Returned refugees: The term returnee is applied to a refugee who has returned to his/her country after taking refuge in another country. Voluntary repatriation departures are often underreported as many refugees return spontaneously, without informing the authorities of the asylum country.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs): IDPs are individuals or groups who have been forced or obliged to flee their habitual residence as a result of, or in order to, avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalised violence or violations of human rights. The IDP figures in the tables correspond to the number of displaced people that particular year and not to the total number of IDPs since the beginning of a conflict. IDP figures and information comes from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. 

ACD INDEX
The International Institute for Strategic Studies has devised the ACD Index to capture key statistics deriving from its Armed Conflict Database, to better provide a guide to the latest trends in global conflicts.

STATISTICS
Statistics are available on a number of variables, including fatalities, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and returnees. Reports can be generated on one or multiple conflicts, with data going back to 1997.

NON-STATE ARMED GROUPS
Non-state armed groups that pose an actual or potential threat to the stability of the state or region in which they operate.