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This report was written on the basis of field research carried out in the Netherlands from November 2002 through early February 2003 and information gathered through ongoing telephone and email communication. Interviews were conducted with IND officials, asylum lawyers, representatives of organizations working with migrants and asylum seekers in the Netherlands, and academic professors and researchers. The report was researched and written by Julie Chadbourne, Osher Fellow and consultant to Human Rights Watch, and edited by Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch, Ophelia Field, Osher Fellow and consultant to the Refugee Policy division of Human Rights Watch, James Ross, senior legal advisor for Human Rights Watch, and Joseph Saunders, deputy program director for Human Rights Watch. Clarisa Bencomo, researcher with the Children's Rights division, edited the sections of the report pertaining to children. Veronika Leila Szente Goldston, advocacy director for the Europe and Central Asia division, Julia Hall, counsel to the Europe and Central Asia division, Diederik Lohman, senior researcher in the Europe and Central Asia division, and Alison Parker, acting director of the Refugee Policy division, also reviewed the manuscript. Production assistance was provided by Dorit Radzin, associate for the Europe and Central Asia division, Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager for Human Rights Watch, and Patrick Minges, publications director for Human Rights Watch.

This report would not have been possible without the help of the many organizations and individuals who shared their knowledge and experiences. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution of VluchtelingenWerk Nederland, NIDOS, Stichting Rechtsbijstand Asiel (SRA), and the many individual lawyers with whom we worked closely. Human Rights Watch would also like to express special thanks to the following organizations and institutions for their advice and assistance throughout Human Rights Watch's research: Amnesty International (Netherlands office), Amsterdams Solidariteits Komitee Vluchtelingen (ASKV)/Steunpunt Vluchtelingen, Defence for Children International (DCI), the Ministry of Justice (IND), the Meijers Committee, Nederlands Juristen Comité voor Mensenrechten, the office of the National Ombudsman, and Vluchtelingen Organisaties Nederland (VON). We further thank the Catholic Welfare Center in Rotterdam, FORUM (Instituut voor Multiculturele Ontwikkeling), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (Dutch mission), Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, OKIA, Tilburg University, Vrije Universiteit, and UNHCR (Netherlands office) for their collaboration.

Human Rights Watch also wishes to thank the Humans All Foundation, the Third Millennium Foundation, and Novib Nederland Fonds for their generous support of this work.

Human Rights Watch
Europe and Central Asia 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 Europe and Central Asia division was established in 1978 to monitor and promote domestic and international compliance with the human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. It is affiliated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, which is based in Vienna, Austria. Elizabeth Andersen is the executive director; Rachel Denber is the deputy director; Veronika Leila Szente Goldston is the advocacy director; Alexander Anderson, Matilda Bogner, Julia Hall, Bogdan Ivanisevic, Diederik Lohman, Darian Pavli, Acacia Shields, and Jonathan Sugden are researchers; Anna Neistat is the Moscow office director; Alexander Petrov is the Deputy Moscow office Director; Julie Chadbourne and Marie Struthers are consultants; Liudmila Belova, Giorgi Gogia, Emily Letts, Dorit Radzin, Leslie Smith, and Ole Estein Solvang are associates. Peter Osnos is the chair of the advisory committee and Alice Henkin is vice chair.

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