First established by the Laogai Research Foundation (LRF) in 2008, the Laogai Museum documents and exposes the Laogai- China’s vast and brutal system of forced labor prison camps. It is the first museum in the U.S. to directly address human rights in China. The museum contains over 100 books, documents, photos and photos about the Laogai, including numerous classified Communist Party documents. The museum highlights the injustice of criminal prosecution in China, from the Cultural Revolution to the present, as well as the harsh conditions inside these prisons. Victim profiles and biographical interviews with survivors shed light on the devastating impact the Laogai has had on the Chinese people. Dozens of sample forced labor products are evidence that the system of repression continues to exist today, to the profit of the Chinese government.
Harry Wu, Laogai Research Foundation’s Executive Director, founded the Laogai Museum in order to preserve the memory of the Laogai’s victims as well as to raise awareness that there are numerous ongoing abuses committed by the Chinese Communist regime against its own people. Wu was imprisoned at the age of 23 for being a "Rightist" and subsequently spent 19 years toiling in fields, mines, and factories at 12 different Laogai camps. He was finally released in 1979. Wu immigrated to the U.S. in 1985 where he testified to Congress on China’s Laogai. He then founded the Laogai Research Foundation in 1992 to gather information and raise public awareness of the Laogai. Since then, he has traveled back to China multiple times to visit Laogai camps in order to gather information and continue his campaign to improve human rights in China. In recent years the LRF has expanded its focus to document and report on other systemic human rights violations, including public executions, organ harvesting from executed prisoners, the coercive enforcement of China's one child policy, and the government’s stringent repression of freedom of expression on the internet.
After relocating and undergoing a major renovation, the Laogai Museum reopened to the public in April 2011 and now serves as a space for education, advocacy, and dialogue about human rights in China. LRF staff are available to answer questions and provide further information, giving visitors a personalized experience. The museum frequently hosts speakers, film screenings, book launches, and special exhibitions. For information about upcoming events, please visit our website.
Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm
Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Special presentations can be arranged for group visits.
Gift shop has items such as books, posters, and DVDs.
For more information visit http://laogai.org/books or call 202-703-9328
"I looked at the new brochures for the Deanwood and Civil Rights Heritage Trails. I am always astonished and amazed at the work you do and the quality of it. Beautiful."