Labour camps in China

China labour camps set to be abolished, legal official confirms

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently said labour camps were “out of touch with the people”. Photo: Reuters

China’s hugely controversial “re-education” labour camps are set to be abolished this year, state media quoted a senior legal official as saying on Monday.

Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

End of forced labour hailed, but some fear it may return in another form

The laojiao system allows the police to send people to forced labour camps for up to four years without trial.

Legal experts and rights groups welcomed reports this week about ending re-education through labour, but are concerned that another unjust punishment system will take its place as long as stability remains the Communist Party's overarching priority.

9 Jan 2013 - 5:46am

Legal reforms a 'litmus test' of Xi Jinping's commitment to change

New leader Xi Jinping has often repeated his commitment to transparency and the rule of law. Photo: Xinhua

The Communist Party's proposed reforms to the legal system, particularly one to "halt" the controversial re-education through labour system, will prove a major litmus test of new leader Xi Jinping's oft-repeated commitment to transparency and the rule of law, analysts say.

And the latest development is just a first step, they added.

9 Jan 2013 - 5:46am

Ending re-education through labour would be a major advance for rule of law

Prisoners used for manual labour near the city of Chongqing. Photo: Mark Ralston

To call re-education through labour an affront to the rule of law is an understatement. It is a grotesque perversion of the rule of law, to the point of being used by police to lock up people even after they have been found innocent by the courts.

9 Jan 2013 - 6:32am

China turns dark page of history, puts end to labour camps

Prisoners perform manual labour in Chongqing. Photos: SCMP Pictures

In a clear reversal of a decades-old practice of human rights abuse, China announced on Monday that it would put a stop to the system of “re-education through labour”, or  labour camps, in 2013.

7 Jan 2013 - 9:49pm 2 comments