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Encyclopedia > Laogai
Map of laogai in China
Map of laogai in China

Laogai (Chinese: 勞改; Pinyin: láo găi), the abbreviation for Laodong Gaizao(勞動改造), which means "reform through labor," is a slogan of the Chinese criminal justice system and has been used to refer to the use of prison labor in the People's Republic of China. It is often confused with, but completely different from, reeducation through labor, which is a system of administrative detentions. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 714 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 840 pixel, file size: 187 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Laogai Metadata This file contains additional... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 714 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 840 pixel, file size: 187 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Laogai Metadata This file contains additional... Pinyin (拼音, Pīnyīn) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of... Criminal justice system flowchart Criminal Justice refers to the system used by government to maintain social control, prevent crime, enforce laws, and administer justice. ... Penal labour is a form of the unfree labour. ... Reeducation through labor (laodong jiaoyang 劳动教养, abbreviated láojiào 劳教) is a system of administrative detentions in the Peoples Republic of China which is generally used to detain persons for minor crimes such as petty theft, prostitution, and illegal drug use for periods up to four years. ...


During the 1960s, Chinese prisons contained large numbers of people who were critical of the government. Prisons were organized like factories. However, most people arrested for political reasons were released in the late 1970s at the start of the Deng Xiaoping reforms. The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, In the Western world, the focus shifted from the social activism of the sixties to social activities for ones own pleasure, save for environmentalism, which continued in a very visible way. ... Deng Xiaoping   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; August 22, 1904–February 19, 1997) was a leader in the Communist Party of China (CCP). ...


There are accusations that Chinese prisons produce products that are often sold in foreign countries, with the profits going to the PRC government. Products include everything from green tea to industrial engines to coal dug from mines. However, these products make up an insignificant amount of mainland China's export output until 1990's, and it has been argued that the use of prison labor for manufacturing is not itself a violation of human rights and that most prisoners in Chinese prisons are there for what are generally regarded as crimes in the West. Green tea (绿茶) is tea that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. ... Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... This article is about mineral extraction. ... ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ...


The downfall of socialism has reduced revenue to local governments, increasing pressure for local governments to attempt to supplement their income using prison labor. At the same time, prisoners do not make a good workforce, and the products produced by prison labor in China are of extremely low quality and have become unsalable on the open market in competition with products made by ordinary paid labor. Furthermore, it has been argued that prison labor has considerably improved conditions for the average prisoners because wardens have found that prisoners who are well-treated make a much more productive workforce. Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Revenue is a U.S. business term for the amount of money that a company earns from its activities in a given period, mostly from sales of products and/or services to customers. ... Income, generally defined, is the money that is received as a result of the normal business activities of an individual or a business. ... The workforce is the labour pool in employment. ... ...


Another result of the downfall of socialism is the end of export of laogai products, at least legally speaking. The export of laogai products had to be abandoned due to the banning of such products imposed by the west. More importantly, the local government was reluctantly forced out of the relatively high profitable export market because the exported laogai products are in direct competition with products made by citizens who do not break laws. Had the cheap laogai products dominated the market, it would lead to massive unemployment just like the way in ancient Roman Empire when slave owners squeezed out citizens out of market, and such disastrous result is something the local government as well as the central governmetn of the Chinese regime could not afford to face.


An insider's view from the 1950s to the 1990s is detailed in the books of Harry Wu, including Troublemaker and Laogai. He spent almost all of his adult life as a prisoner in these camps for criticizing the government while he was a young student in college. He almost died several times, but eventually escaped to the United States. Critics have argued that he far overstates the present role of forced labor in Chinese prisons and ignores the tremendous changes that have occurred in China since then. Supporters point out that Wu revisited China in the 1990s, investigated labor camps, determined that little had changed, was arrested again, but was released under pressure from United States politicians. This does not cite its references or sources. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Professor Harry Wu (in Chinese Wu Hongda 吳弘達) (born 1937) is an activist for human rights in the Peoples Republic of China. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ...


In 2003, the word "laogai" entered the Oxford English Dictionary.


See also

Gulag ( , Russian: ) is an acronym for Главное Управление Исправительно—Трудовых Лагерей и колоний, Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey i kolonii, The Chief Directorate [or Administration] of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies of the NKVD. Anne Applebaum, in her book Gulag: A History, explains: The word Gulag has also come to signify not only the administration of the... A penis colony is a colony used to detain prisoners and generally use them for penal labor in an economically underdeveloped part of the states (usually colonial) territories, and on a far larger scale than a prison farm. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Reeducation camp (trại học tập cải tạo) is the official name given to the prison camps operated by the government of Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War. ...

External links

  • http://www.wcl.american.edu/pub/humright/brief/v7i2/laogai.htm
  • http://www.laogai.org/news/index.php

  Results from FactBites:
 
Laogai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (453 words)
Laogai (勞改; pinyin: láo găi), which means "reform through labor," is a slogan of the Chinese criminal justice system and has been used to refer to the use of prison labor in the People's Republic of China.
Furthermore, it has been argued that prison labor has considerably improved conditions for the average prisoners because wardens have found that prisoners who are well-treated make a much more productive workforce.
He spent almost all of his adult life as a prisoner in these camps for criticizing the government while he was a young student in college.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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