AOAV: all our reportsMilitarism examinedMedia, culture and armed violence

Action on Armed Violence’s report on children killed in British military operations gets global news coverage

Action on Armed Violence’s (AOAV) analysis of UK government compensation payments in Afghanistan that revealed between 64 and 135 children were killed in British military action in Afghanistan has secured global media coverage.

The report, which was initially shared exclusive with the BBC, ran on their flagship the Today programme and was covered on their News Channel, showed how dozens of children in Afghanistan were killed following actions by British forces, with each child’s death paying out – on average – just £1,656 in compensation.

BBC’s Today Programme – 9 November, 2022

AOAV reported how, between 2006-14, there were 64 confirmed child victims in Afghanistan where the British military paid compensation, although the number of children killed could be as high as 135. 

Even the lower number was four times more than previously thought, since prior documents released by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) had only revealed 16 confirmed child fatalities. Subsequent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by AOAV reveal the MOD had not included an additional ‘Notes’ column within the claims database. Access to this provided far more information on hundreds of sparsely detailed fatality compensation cases.

BBC News – 9 November, 2022

The report was then covered by The Times, ITV News, Sky News, The Independent, and the UK military’s own

Internationally, AOAV’s work was highlighted by English-language media ABC News, Arab News, Al Jazeera, France News 24, Euronews, Yahoo News, and Afghanistan Times. Many other outlets in a wide range of languages also picked up the report.

The report was also picked up by other UK charities, including Save the Children, who called it a tragedy, saying “we must do more to protect them, especially in war”.

The report can be read here.