The UK military operation in Afghanistan resulted in at least 64 child deaths between 2006 and 2014, according to the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) organization, for which the British military paid compensation equal to four times the number of deaths it later claimed to be 16.
According to information received from the London-based charity AOAV, scores of children were killed in Afghanistan as a result of actions by British forces, with each child’s death receiving – on average – just £1,656 in compensation.
Even the low end of the range (64-135) provided by AOAV is four times higher than the 16 child casualties reported in the records produced by the UK Ministry of Defense, AOAV report on November 8 stated.
According to AOAV’s Executive Director, Dr. Iain Overton, a study of these compensation payments reveals that there were 38 cases involving 64 acknowledged child fatalities between April 2007 and December 2012 where the relatives of the children received payments.
“These incidents specifically involved the mention of a child or the listing aged under 18,” Dr. Overton said.
The report states that absolutely no evidence exists to suggest that the British military deliberately targeted civilians or children. Instead, these tragedies must be attributed to ineffective targeting, excessive use of heavy weapons, or combat in populated areas.
The two leading causes of death that could be ascertained, according to the AOAV report were airstrikes and crossfire, which raises concerns about the rules of engagement used at the time by the British troops in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan.
With children making up 40% of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan, a UN assessment revealed that 785 children were killed and 813 additional children were injured by aerial bombardments by Afghan and US troops between 2016 and 2020.