The British military has paid $165,332 in restitution after the deaths of 64 children in Afghanistan, a new report says.
British forces have compensated the deaths of 64 children in Afghanistan, a figure four times higher than the 16 child deaths publicly acknowledged by the Department of Defense, according to a new report.
Action against Armed Violence (AOAV)A UK-based charity, found that the British government paid an average of £1,656 ($1,894) in compensation for each person killed.
Between 2006-2014, “there were 64 confirmed child victims in Afghanistan for which the British military had compensated, although the number of children killed could be as high as 135”.
In addition, AOAV found that between April 2007 and December 2012, there were 38 incidents involving the deaths of 64 children.
The average age of a child killed is six years old, and air strikes are the most common cause of death listed.
A Department of Defense spokesperson responded to the new report saying: “Any civilian death in a conflict is a tragedy, more so when children and family members are involved. .
“The UK Armed Forces work hard to reduce that risk, which unfortunately can never be completely eliminated.”
The total military payout amounted to £144,593 ($165,332), but the report explains this includes adult deaths.
Families trying to claim compensation for the loss of a loved one are expected to produce evidence, including birth certificates and interviews with British staff, to confirm no links to the Taliban .
“The majority of the 881 death claims brought to the ACO (Allied Commandant Operations) were dismissed. Only a quarter of them received any compensation.”
Iain Overton, executive director of Armed Violence Action, said: “The number of children killed in the wake of British military action in Helmand should give pause for thought.
“War always leads to death and modern warfare will always result in civilian casualties, but not reporting such deaths – although it can be a source of regret and horror for those soldiers involved in murders and whether such accidental deaths – would be an irresponsibility and an erosion of truth.
“This report hopes to provide some insight into the often neglected children who have perished in war and, in some ways, serve as a warning to future Westminster politicians, who might consider sending troops into the war,” Overton said.