The Catholic University of America

Chen Guangcheng

IPR Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Office: 202-319-5999
Email: Chen's Assistant

Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country.  Working in rural communities in China, where he was known as the “barefoot lawyer,” Chen advocated for the rights of disabled people, and organized class-action litigation against the government’s violent enforcement of its one-child policy.  Blind since his childhood, Chen is self-taught in the law.  His human rights activism resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese government for four years, beginning in 2006; after his release he remained under house arrest, until his escape from confinement in 2012, whereupon he came to the United States, where he was a scholar at New York University in 2012-13.  In March 2015, his autobiograph The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China was published.