A Generation in Peril: The Lives of Tibetan Children Under Chinese Rule

Above all, we wish to thank the courageous and resilient children of Tibet. They bravely shared their experience in the hopes that their testimonies might help prevent other children from being subjected to such hardships in the future. In recounting their stories, many children had to relive painful memories and emotions associated with these events and with the separation from their families. We admire and find inspiration in their remarkable moral strength. For their safety and that of their relatives and friends, these children must remain anonymous.

This report is based primarily on research conducted from late October to mid-November 1999 by a team comprised of Gayle K. Zilber, Esq., Children's Rights Project Coordinator, Lindsay Harris, Esq., Fact-Finding Mission Team Leader, Doug DiSalvo, Field Coordinator, Professor Thomas A. Nazario, Marcella Adamski, Ph.D., and Arlene Reiss, Ph.D. They received superb help from the team interpreters Rinzin Tsomo and Tsering Lhanzom and additional skilled translation from Lobsang Tsering. Throughout, Cheryl Howard's assistance and support proved indispensable. Karen K. Sokol and Robert D. Sloane conducted preliminary field research in August 1999 and background legal research during the Spring of 1999. Invaluable background research was also provided by Elise Keppler and Susan Klug during the Summer of 1999 and by Elizabeth Brundige during the Summer of 1998. Throughout, our former Executive Director, Janice Mantell, provided sound guidance and support.

The report was written by Robert D. Sloane, 2000-2001 Robert L. Bernstein Fellow in International Human Rights; edited by Dennis Cusack, President of the International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, Yodon Thonden, member of the Board of Directors, and Gayle Zilber; and produced by Minnie Cancellaro, Executive Director. Doug DiSalvo and Melissa M. Manwaring provided helpful comments on the draft.

Our research would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the Tibetan exile community, who expend tremendous daily effort to maintain a safe haven for Tibetan refugee children and to provide them with an excellent education, quality healthcare and a nurturing foster home. In particular, we would like to thank the following organizations and their dedicated staff who provided vital assistance: the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Department of Education, the Tibetan Department of Information and International Relations, the Tibetan Women's Association, the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement, the Tibetan Torture Survivors' Programme, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Delek Hospital, the Tibetan Children's Villages and the Tibetan Refugee Reception Centre.

For permission to reproduce photographs contained in this report, we wish to thank the Tibet Information Network, Barefoot Images, Chris Taylor, Sue Campbell, Marcella Adamski, Carey Moore, Arlene Reiss, Dan Hoard, Cheryl Howard and Yodon Thonden. For technical and financial support, we wish to acknowledge the help of Steven D. Young. The generous financial support of Sandor and Faye Straus, Ron and Cheryl Howard and the many loyal members of Tibet Justice Center who helped make this mission and research possible.

We also wish to thank Sonam and Norzin Lama, Dechen Tsering, Lhakpa Dolma, Tseten and Tsewang Khangsar, Eva Herzer, Anita Mohan, Heather Friedman, Carol Huffine, Pam Maykut, Ann Parker, D'Arcy Richardson, Robert Rosoff, Kaila Compton, Dr. Michael van Walt van Praag, Miek Boltjes, Elliot Sperling and Herb Schreier.

Dan Haig of Tibet Online prepared the Web version of this report for Tibet Justice Center Web site.

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