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Zama Coursen-Neff, senior researcher in the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and Saman Zia-Zarifi, research director of the Asia Division, wrote this report based on their research and that of Olivier Bercault and a consultant in Afghanistan who cannot be named for security reasons. John Sifton contributed to the research. Ranee Adipat, Jo-Anne Prudhomme, and Elizabeth Siegel also provided research assistance. Brad Adams, Lois Whitman, Joe Saunders, and Nisha Varia edited the report. James Ross provided legal review. Ranee Adipat, Fitzroy Hepkins, Andrea Holley, Veronica Matushaj, and Jo-Anne Prudhomme produced the report.

Human Rights Watch is deeply grateful to the Afghan children, women, and men whom we interviewed for this report and who assisted us in our investigation. For security reasons, many of them cannot be named here.

We especially thank the countless staff and officials of non-governmental organizations and U.N. agencies in Afghanistan, including UNICEF, UNAMA, and UNIFEM, who have assisted us with our work, as well as the numerous other sources who provided helpful comments, advice, and information. Human Rights Watch acknowledges with special appreciation the assistance of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission; Horia Mossadeq, Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium; Deputy Minister of Education Mohammed Sadiq Patman, Director of Planning for the Ministry of Education Mohammeed Azim Karbalai, and other officials in the Ministry of Education; and officials in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

We would also like to thank Ahmed Rashid and Barnett R. Rubin for their support and encouragement.

Finally, we acknowledge with appreciation the support of the Annenberg Foundation, Connemara Fund the Countess Moira Charitable Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the Link Foundation, the JKW Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Roth Family Foundation.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>July 2006