The Reform of the Reeducation through Labor (lao jiao) System


 Room Segalen, 25/F, Admiralty Centre, Tower 2, 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong (Admiralty MTR station, exit A)

Speaker: Prof. Fu Hualing (University of Hong Kong), Dr Nicholas Bequelin (Human Rights Watch), and Joshua Rosenzweig (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Reservation & Contact: Heipo Leung

[email protected] / tel: 2876 6910


Fu Hualing is a professor of law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong. He graduated from the Southwestern University of Politics and Law in Chongqing and received post-graduate degrees in Canada. His research interest includes public law, human rights and legal institutions in China. He has published widely on Chinese legal institutions and human rights in China.

Nicholas Bequelin is Senior Researcher in the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, based in Hong Kong, and a leading expert on legal reforms and human rights in China. He obtained his PhD in History from the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris, in 2001, and is a former Visiting scholar at Yale University’s China Law Center.

Joshua Rosenzweig is a PhD candidate in Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where his current research looks at the interactions between criminal justice and public opinion in contemporary China. From 2002 to 2011, he was a researcher for The Dui Hua Foundation, where he developed the foundation’s comprehensive database of information about Chinese political and religious prisoners and authored more than a dozen volumes in its series of occasional publications.


While reform of the Re-education through labor (RTL) system has been on China’s legislative agenda for a number of years, the sudden announcement last January that the Party intends to dismantle the system by the end of the year has caught many by surprise. Indeed for decades the Public Security Bureau has successfully resisted attempts to reform a system that it considered necessary for the fulfillment of the missions mandated by the Party. So what has changed? And what comes next? The decision raises both practical issues–what to do with the people formerly “dealt with” through RTL (minor offenders, drug users, prostitutes and dissidents)–as well as political one–what, in the eyes of the new leadership under Xi Jinping, should the law play in the governance of China?



This seminar will be held in English.
Sebastian Veg, Director of the CEFC, will chair the session.
Snacks and drinks will be served after the seminar.
Seats are limited. Please confirm your attendance.