This report was researched by Tony Tate, researcher in the Childrens Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and Karen Stauss, DRC researcher in the African Division of Human Rights Watch, with assistance provided by Jean-Baptiste Bengehya Mwezi, administrative assistant in the Human Rights Watch/Goma office. Marcus Bleasdale, photojournalist, photographed all the images contained in this report.
The report was written by Tony Tate and edited by Karen Stauss. The report was reviewed by Lois Whitman, executive director of the Childrens Rights Division; Michael Bochenek, deputy director of the Childrens Rights Division; Joseph Amon, director of the HIV/AIDS Program; Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior DRC researcher; Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor; and Ian Gorvin, consultant to the Program Office. Ranee Adipat, Elizabeth Siegel, Veronica Matushaj, Andrea Holley, and Fitzroy Hepkins provided production assistance. Francoise Denayer translated this report into French.
Human Rights Watch extends its gratitude to the many current and former street children in the Democratic Republic of Cong who shared their stories and experiences with us.
We also gratefully acknowledge the willingness of the Minister of Social Affairs, the Special Ambassador for Children, and officials in the Divisions of Justice, Interior, and Social Affairs for sharing their views with us for this report. We also thank members of the police and military who met with us and expressed their opinions.
Human Rights Watch wishes to recognize a number of nongovernmental and faith based organizations for facilitating our research. We extend particular thanks to Concert dActions pour Jeunes et Enfants Défavorisés (CAJED), Centre dEncadrement et des Formation Artisanale des Jeunes de la Rue (CFJAR), Salésiens of Don Bosco, Action Contre lImpunité pour les Droits Humain (ACIDH), Association Bumi, Centre Amani, Bureau International Catholique de lEnfance (BICE), Centre dEtudes et Formation Populaires (CEFOP), uvres Sociales Betu Bana, Center dAssistance des Jeunes Abandonnée (CAJAC), Mouvement des Jeunes pour lExcellence (MOJE), Aide à lEnfance Defavorisée (AED), Réseau des Educateurs des Enfants et Jeunes de la Rue (REEJER), uvre de Reclassement et de Protection des Enfants de la Rue (ORPER) Association des Jeunes de la Rue pour le Développement (AJRD), and Centre dAssistance Judicaire et Psychosociale pour Enfant et Mère/LIZEDEEL (CAJEM).
We recognize with appreciation the funding provided for our work by the Oak Foundation, the Independence Foundation, and NOVIB.
This report is dedicated to the memory of Polycarp Mpoy, director of SOLIDEC-K, who tragically lost his life in a car accident in November 2005.