Talk:Labor camp

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Old talk[edit]

Kwertii: I hope you understand my deletion of a large piece or yours. As it stood, it belonged to the extermination camp article. I am going to detail the system of Nazi labor camps. I will not forget to mention high death rate (or you will surely add after me). Mikkalai 02:27, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

israel labor camps?[edit]

i deleted a claim about israel labor camps, which was based on a single source: [1]. this source doesn't seem too credible. given the incredible scrutiny devoted to everything israel-related, if these events really occurred, there is certainly a more credible source out there; if not, they shouldn't be mentioned. Benwing 00:25, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Reference to sentences for Europeans in Caribbean camps[edit]

  • "Some European penal deportees were also sentenced to serve in Caribbean labour camps, but strict racial segreation meant they only served sentences of 5-10 years"

I am a bit puzzled by this sentence. The link between racial segregation and the length of the sentence is unclear.

Also, I don't think the statement is accurate - there are numerous examples of Europeans (particularly the crews of enemy privateers) who were informally sentenced to lifetime servitude in Caribbean labor camps after being captured preying on Spanish shipping. I grant that lifetime servitude tended not to be that long given the death rate, but the point remains.

Can anyone shed some light on the meaning of the sentence? If not, I'll edit it in a few days and we'll see what people think of that version instead. Jeendan 21:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I have reworded the sentence in the absence of any comments to the contrary. A small amount of research pints to two main groups of European prisoners - captured sailors during the Elizabethan era, and the ongoing use of penal settlements by the French stretching well into the 20th century (and popularised by the Papillon autobiography by deportee Henri Charierre). Sentences for Elizabethan sailors tended to be indefinite, but most died within 5 years. Sentencing for French deportees appear to have ranged from 5 years to life, with most at the 'life' end.
If I find the time I'll do some more research on this, and clean up this top ection of the article a little while I'm at it. Any collaborators would be appreciated, as always. Jeendan 07:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Caribbean plantation slavery[edit]

I removed the following section:

Colonial Plantations in the Caribbean were a system of off-shore forced labor camps that were used to enslave kidnapped Africans and accumulate riches for European monarchs, merchants, institutions and aristocrats from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Although camp inmates were designated 'slaves', the majority were kidnap victims, prisoners of war or penal deportees. The death rate on the Codrington estate, (owned by the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts) was not unusual, with one quarter (25%) of all enslaved Africans dying within three years of their arrival.[1] Caribbean labour camps were noted for their brutal punishments, racial oppression, family destruction and systemized rape by camp guards and overseers. Designation as a 'slave' meant African inmates endured a life sentence with very little possibility of release. African women who give birth, witnessed their children forced to endure the same life sentence. A comparitvely small number of European penal deportees were also sentenced to serve in Caribbean and South American labour camps for periods ranging from 5 years to life. It is estimated that 4 million Africans were sent to Caribbean labor camps, about 14% of whom died during the trans-Atlantic crossing. Britain, France, Spain, Holland and Denmark all operated Caribbean labor camps.[2]

This is a non-standard interpretation of what constitutes a "labor camp" and an interpretation that seems to be original to the editor that wrote it rather than to the sources it references or to any other published sources that I know of. More broadly, by this definition, any form of historical slavery that involved large numbers of slaves engaging in hard physical labor with limitations on movement could be interpreted as a "labor camp". The definition of "labor camp" really should be limited to various forms of mass penal servitude that have elements of slavery, as is the commonly understood definition of this phenomenon. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 06:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


How does this differ to most prisons around the world where inmates perform work? This hardly seems anything close to forced labour camps that the rest of this article is about... Mdwh (talk) 00:29, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, it has about nothing to do with the forced labour camps, but it is still a "simplified detention facility where inmates perform penal labour". Just goes to show that the word "labour colony" may have almost any meaning at all, from Gulag to the very open form of prison (no fences, no locks, just the inmate's word). --MPorciusCato (talk) 07:17, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
A labor camp usually implies the person is sentenced to perform work, as opposed to being something that prisoners do in return for extra privileges - this is what the rest of the article is about. Either way, the article is rather unbalanced, since no other countries are mentioned even though most of them will have prisoners performing work. What is special and notable about Finland? Mdwh (talk) 09:15, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Nothing, I suppose. :-) However, it is sourced information which is about the topic of the article. The absence of similar information on 200 other countries does not mean that these pieces of information should be deleted. --MPorciusCato (talk) 07:34, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I note that the heading is notable labor camps though, which suggests to me that this shouldn't simply be a list of several hundred countries and their prison work conditions. Mdwh (talk) 11:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
There is also the point that the lead says "Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery", further suggesting that this is meant to be about camps of forced labour, and not simply every country that ever had prisoners working (the Finnish prison work is voluntary). So I disagree that it is what this article is about. Either we simply drop the mention of Finland (or move it to a more appropriate article), or change the lead accordingly and start listing just about all other countries too. I would prefer the former. Mdwh (talk) 23:02, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Should both words in "labor camp" really be capitalized?--Sus scrofa (talk) 15:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


I have added a section about forced labor camps in the communist Czechoslovakia. I can't find a good source for this in English. Perhaps someone else could help? Nazgul02 (talk) 20:53, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Move to Forced labor camp[edit]

I suggest this article is moved to forced labor camp (currently a redirect to this article). Urban XII (talk) 17:17, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

-Can't figure out how to do it, but footnote 9 (the reference) has a dead link, works, replace it with that please- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:55, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ *Bennett, J Harry, Jr. Bondsmen and Bishops - Slavery and Apprenticeship on the Codrington Plantations of Barbados, 1710-1838 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958)
  2. ^ Selected Death Tolls for Wars, Massacres and Atrocities Before the 20th Century