1734 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
phone: 202-408-8300
fax: 202-408-8302
Monday - Friday10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
We are located two blocks north of Dupont Circle Metro's North Exit on the Red Line.
Free Admission
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Group Tours


The Laogai Museum exposes the Laogai— China’s extensive system of forced-labor prison camps. These abusive prisons have been used since the Communist Party took power in 1949 to control the masses, and continue to exist today. Its prisoners, including those charged with political crimes, are forced to live and work in terrible conditions. The products they produce are sold for profit by the Chinese government.

LRF and the museum work to document and publicize this and other systemic human rights violations in China, including executions and the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, the coercive enforcement of China's “one-child” population control policy, and Internet censorship and surveillance.

The Laogai Museum also serves as a space for education, advocacy, and dialogue about human rights in China- bringing together activists, survivors, experts, journalists, and the public for monthly events.


To document and expose the Laogai, China’s vast and brutal system of forced labor prison camps, and to promote education, advocacy, and dialogue about China’s human rights issues.


The Laogai Museum opened in November 2008 with the support of the Yahoo! Human Rights Fund, and is the first museum in the United States to directly address human rights in China. The museum was established by Laogai Research Foundation (LRF) and former Chinese political prisoner Harry Wu. Wu spent 19 years in China's Laogai prison camps before being released and immigrating to the US. He established the LRF in 1992 to gather information on the Laogai system.

Artifacts Collections

Classified Communist Party documents detailing the Laogai system, photographs and video of Laogai prison camps, personal testimonies and belongings of Laogai prisoners, Laogai-made product samples

Research Collections

Laogai Archives- Photos, documents, and video on the Laogai; database of known Laogai prisons

Educational Programs

Student or group tours, speaker presentations, or discussion sessions available upon request; online Laogai curriculum project in development


    Lecture Halls


    Laogai: The Machinery of Repression; 2007-2008 Laogai Handbook; Civil Awakening - The Dawn of a Free China by Liu Xiaobo; Better Ten Graves than One Extra Birth: China’s Systemic Use of Coercion to Meet Population Quotas; Charter 08 and China's Transformation, China Information Center; Communist Charity; numerous memoirs of Laogai survivors


      Wheelchair Accessible


      Gift Shop

      Online Gift Shop

      Group Tours