Back to top

How Do You Monitor Conflict Situations Properly?

If you are monitoring a specific situation then it helps to work together with someone in a pair. Each pair of monitors will monitor a certain area. The pairs must stay in contact with each other. You can do this by having a messenger who can run between pairs passing messages, or you can use a cell phone.

As a monitor you must stay as close to the action as possible, but be careful not to become involved in the action.

Whether you are doing on-going monitoring or monitoring a specific situation, you must write down everything that you see happening. If possible, you must take photographs of incidents, for example, where people were injured, you must photograph their injuries, with a match or ruler next to the injury (to show the size of the injury). This is important later if you have to give evidence in court. It is also useful if you can draw a map of where the incident took place.

(See: Preparing for Monitoring Checklist)

For example, if you were monitoring a community conflict situation these are the important things you should write down:

  • The size of the crowd
  • How many police are present
  • The registration numbers of the police vans and any other vehicles involved in the action
  • The names of the police officers present
  • The time that the action began
  • Details of the events in the order that they happened
  • The names of the people who are injured or arrested
  • What weapons were being used