This report was written by Carol Pier,
researcher for the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch, based on a
three-week fact-finding mission in May 2001. Michael Bochenek, counsel
for the Children's Rights Division, participated in a portion of the mission.
The report was edited by Bochenek, Jo Becker, advocacy director for the
Children's Rights Division, Cynthia Brown, consultant, Arvind Ganesan,
director of the Business and Human Rights Program, Joanne Mariner, deputy
director of the Americas Division, Malcolm Smart, program director, José
Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division, and Lois Whitman,
executive director of the Children's Rights Division. Research assistance
was provided by Ray Mahnad, legal intern. Legal review was performed by
Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director. Production assistance was given
by Jonathan Balcom and Marijke Conklin, associates for the Americas Division.
Technical consultations were provided by Benjamin Davis, Elizabeth O'Connor,
and Sonia Rosen of the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center.
Human Rights Watch is especially grateful
to the advocates, activists, and trade unionists who shared their knowledge
and experiences with us and, in particular, to those who helped us contact
the banana workers interviewed for this report. We also wish to thank the
Ecuadorian government officials who provided valuable information regarding
Ecuador's labor law regime, the representatives of multilateral organizations
who explained their activities and varying degrees of involvement in Ecuador,
and employees of banana-exporting corporations-Chiquita, Del Monte, Dole,
Favorita, and Noboa-who articulated for us their labor policies on supplier
plantations. Finally, we are especially indebted to the many banana workers,
children and adults, who shared their stories with us.