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This report is based on research by Michael Bochenek and Zama Coursen-Neff, counsel to the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and Marla González, an attorney with World Vision El Salvador, during a three-week field investigation in the Departments of Ahuachapán, Cabañas, Cuscatlán, La Libertad, Sonsonate, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, and Usutlán in February 2003.  Staff of the following area development projects accompanied them and guided them in their research:  Los Manantiales (Sonsonate), La Bendición (San Miguel), Sendero de Esperanza y Tacuba (Ahuachapán), Sinai (Usulután), El Paraíso (Cabañas), and Salem (La Libertad).  Katherine Zeisel provided additional research assistance.

Michael Bochenek wrote the report, which was edited by Lois Whitman, executive director of the Children’s Rights Division; Carol Pier, labor rights and trade researcher for the Business and Human Rights Program; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director of Human Rights Watch; Elizabeth Wang; and Iain Levine, program director of Human Rights Watch.  Zama Coursen-Neff; Arvind Ganesan, director of the Business and Human Rights Program; Marla González; Joanne Mariner, deputy director of the Americas Division; and Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, also reviewed and commented on the manuscript.  Mina Kumar designed the map.  Fitzroy Hepkins, Andrea Holley, Veronica Matushaj, Dana Sommers, and Nikolaus Steinberg produced the report.  Juan Luis Guillén translated the report from English into Spanish.

Human Rights Watch is indebted to the nongovernmental organizations and individuals who assisted us in the course of our field research, among them Yolanda Barrientos, Fundación Olof Palme; Roberto Burgos, Instituto de Derechos Humanos, Universidad Centroamericana; Comisión de Derechos Humanos; Jorge Escoto, coordinator, Programa Acción para la Niñez, Fundación Olof Palme; Fe y Alegría; Delmy Iglesias, director, Fundación Olof Palme; Carlos Tito López, Fundación Olof Palme; Victorio Sánchez, CARE El Salvador; Alfredo Vargas, Enclace; and Georgina Villalta, coordinator, Red para la Infancia.  We would also like to express our appreciation to Manuel Armando Ortega and Félix Velásquez of the Comité de Reconstrucción y Desarrollo Económico-Social de Comunidades de Suchitoto;  Zoila de Innocenti, Instituto Salvadoreño para el Desarrollo de la Mujer; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Labor;  Procuradoría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos; Italo Cardona and Benjamin Smith of the International Labour Organization’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour; and UNICEF.  Finally, we would like to thank the children, parents, and teachers we interviewed.  All names of children have been changed to protect their privacy.

Human Rights Watch gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the
General Service Foundation for the research and writing of this report.

<<previous  |  indexJune 2004