Whilst British service personnel have struggled to get compensation for personal injuries sustained in the line of duty, the Ministry of Defence paid out £1.3 million to Afghans in death, damage and personal injury compensation last year.
Although last year’s compensation bill was down slightly on the £1.42 million paid out in 2009–10, it is still a massive increase on the £380,569 that was paid out in 2007-08.
A spokesman for the MoD explained that when a personal injury claim is received by the department it is assessed on the basis of whether there is a legal liability. He also said the amounts paid are in line with local compensation awards.
However, Sarah Holewinski, from the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, feels that the compensation policy lacks transparency.
King’s College London’s professor of war studies, Theo Farrell, said the increase in compensation payments could be because more civilians are being killed or injured or it could be that the British government has changed its policy.
You also need to take into consideration the fact that 1,460 claims were filed in 2010 and the total of £1.3 million was spread amongst almost 1,000 settlements. Personal injury compensation totalling £73,771 was paid out for 53 woundings. One girl, who was shot and paralysed, received a paltry £1,549, a fraction of the amount she would have got if a personal injury solicitor in this country had been representing her.