This report was written by Zama Coursen-Neff, counsel to the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, based on her research in India in March 2002. Smita Narula, senior researcher for the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch, contributed to the research. The report was edited by Smita Narula; Lois Whitman, executive director of the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch; and Ian Gorvin, consultant in the Program Office of Human Rights Watch. James Ross, senior legal advisor, provided legal review. Michael Bochenek, Widney Brown, Arvind Ganesan, and Carol Pier also reviewed the report and provided helpful comments. Tamara Enhuber provided additional research assistance. John Emerson designed the map. Veronica Matushaj, Patrick Minges, and Dana Sommers provided production assistance.
Human Rights Watch would especially like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their generous and valuable assistance in the course of researching this report: M. John of India Community Development Service Society, Movement for Alternatives and Youth Awareness, People's Watch, Lenin Raghuvanshi of People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights, Gilbert Rodrigo of Legal Resources for Social Action, and Vikasa.
Human Rights Watch is also grateful to Manu Alphonse of the Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Social Development, Swami Agnivesh of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, the Campaign Against Child Labour, the Centre for Education and Communication, Concerned for Working Children, Ossie Fernandez of the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation, Joseph Gathia of the Centre of Concern for Child Labour, Prakash Louis of the Indian Social Institute, Mahaveer Jain, Professor B.N. Juyal, Professor Babu Mathew, Vivek Pandit, Mathews Philip of the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, Kiran Kamal Prasad of JEEVIKA, Helen R. Sekar, Kailash Satyarthi of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude, Alakh N. Sharma of the Institute for Human Development, Professor Sukhadeo Thorat, and R. Vasantha of WENA-GUIDE. Human Rights Watch also thanks the government officials who agreed to be interviewed for this report.
Most of all, we thank the many children who spoke with us, recounting their personal experiences of hardship and bondage. Without them this report would not have been possible.
Finally, we acknowledge with appreciation the support of the Ford Foundation and the Ladenburg Foundation, which provided funding that has enabled Human Rights Watch to pursue caste and gender-related research and advocacy in India; and the Oak Foundation and the Independence Foundation, which support our work on children's rights.
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