Labor camp explained
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons. Conditions at labor camps vary widely depending on the operators.
During the period of Stalinism, the Gulag labor camps in the Soviet Union were officially called "Corrective labor camps." The term labor colony; more exactly, "Corrective labor colony", (исправительно-трудовая колония, ИТК), was also in use, most notably the ones for underaged (16 years or younger) convicts and captured besprizorniki (street children, literally, "children without family care"). After the reform of Gulag, the term "corrective labor colony" essentially encompassed labor camps.
Labor camps in various countries
- Imperial Russia operated a system of remote Siberian forced labor camps as part of its regular judicial system, called katorga.
- Soviet Russia took over the already extensive katorga system and expanded it immensely, eventually organizing the Gulag to run the camps. In 1954, a year after Stalin's death, the new Soviet government of Nikita Khrushchev began to release political prisoners and close down the camps. By the end of the 1950s, virtually all "corrective labor camps" were reorganized, mostly into the system of corrective labor colonies. Officially, the Gulag was terminated by the MVD order 20 of January 25, 1960.
- Socialist Yugoslavia run Goli otok prison camp for political opponents from 1946 to 1956.
- During the early 20th century, the Empire of Japan used the forced labor of millions of civilians from conquered countries and prisoners of war, especially during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War, on projects such as the Death Railway. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a direct result of the overwork, malnutrition, preventable disease and violence which were commonplace on these projects. See also: Japanese war crimes.
- During World War II the Nazis operated several categories of Arbeitslager for different categories of inmates. The largest number of them held civilians forcibly abducted in the occupied countries (see Łapanka) to provide labor in the German war industry, repair bombed railroads and bridges or work on farms. By 1944, 19.9% of all workers were foreigners, either civilians or prisoners of war. 
The Nazis employed many slave laborers. They also operated concentration camps, some of which provided free forced labor for industrial and other jobs while others existed purely for the extermination of their inmates. A notable example is Mittelbau-Dora labor camp complex that serviced the production of the V-2 rocket. See List of German concentration camps for more.
- The Allies of World War II operated a number of work camps after the war. In the Yalta conference it was agreed that German forced labor was to be utilized as reparations. The majority of the camps were in the Soviet Union, but more than 1,000,000 Germans were forced to work in French coal-mines and British agriculture, as well as 500,000 in U.S. run Military Labor Service Units in occupied Germany itself. 
- The Communist Party of China has operated many labor camps for some types of crimes. Many leaders of China were put into labor camps after purges, including Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi. As a matter of fact, hundreds - if not thousands - of labor camps and forced-labor prisons (laogai) still exist in modern day China, housing political prisoners and dissidents alongside dangerous criminals.
- In Communist Romania, labor camps were operated for projects such as the building of the Danube-Black Sea Canal and the desiccation of the Great Brăila Island, on which "enemies of the people" were "re-educated" by forced labor. Between 1949 and 1953, forty to sixty thousand prisoners were held in labor camps along the Canal at any given time. Most of the people that worked on such projects never got out alive.
- In the former state of North Vietnam, labor camps were widespread. During the Vietnam War labor camps were used extensively by the communist government for its war effort. After the war and reunification in 1975, the victorious North sent thousands of South Vietnamese citizens and military officers into labor camps. This act served three purposes: (1) To punish the Western collaborators. (2) To help rebuild the nation. (3) To reeducate them with communist ideals.
- Cuba: Beginning in November 1965, people classified as "against the government" were summoned to work camps referred to as "Military Units to Aid Production" (UMAP).
- http://projekte.geschichte.uni-freiburg.de/herbert/uhpub/forcedlaborers.html Forced Laborers in the "Third Reich" - By Ulrich Herbert
- John Dietrich, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (2002) ISBN 1-892941-90-2
- http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1999/china.50/red.giant/prisons/wu.essay/ Labor camps reinforce China's totalitarian rule