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    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.

    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; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; John T. Green, operations director, Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Joe Saunders, interim program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; 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; Jo Becker is advocacy director; Michael Bochenek
    and Zama Coursen-Neff are counsel; Clarisa Bencomo and C. Anthony Tate are researchers; and Dana Sommers and Colin Relihan are associates. Jane Green Schaller is chair and Roland Algrant is the vice-chair of the advisory committee.

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