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This report was written by Jo Becker, advocacy director for the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and Michael Bochenek, counsel to the Children’s Rights Division, based on research conducted between June and November 1998 by the authors. It was edited by Lois Whitman, executive director of the Children’s Rights Division, and Michael McClintock, deputy program director of Human Rights Watch. Allyson Collins, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch; Joanne Mariner, associate counsel to Human Rights Watch; and Rachael Reilly, refugee program director of Human Rights Watch, reviewed and commented on the manuscript. Fitzroy Hepkins and Patrick Minges provided production assistance.

We are grateful to the children and immigration advocates who took the time to share information with Human Rights Watch and to the INS officials who met with us. We appreciate the cooperation of the BCYC staff, who shared generously of their time, provided full access to the facility, and facilitated confidential interviews with children.

Human Rights Watch
Children’s Rights Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Children’s Rights Division was established in 1994 to monitor and promote the human rights of children around the world. Lois Whitman is the director; Yodon Thonden and Michael Bochenek are counsel; Jo Becker is advocacy director. Vikram Parekh is research associate and Shalu Rozario is associate. Jane Green Schaller is chair of the advisory committee.

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