About Dui Hua

Dui Hua (对话, meaning “dialogue” in Chinese) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that seeks clemency and better treatment for at-risk detainees through the promotion of universally recognized human rights in a well-informed, mutually respectful dialogue with China. Focusing on political and religious prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison, and issues in criminal justice, our work rests on the premise that positive change is realized through constructive relationships and exchange.


How Dui Hua Works

Our Story

Founded in April 1999, Dui Hua works to advance human rights through well-informed, respectful dialogue with China. Learn more about some of Dui Hua’s accomplishments since then.


Dui Hua celebrated its 25th anniversary in April 2024.

Earlier in the year, in January, the UN Human Rights Council reviewed China’s human rights record at the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland. Dui Hua’s submission raised the issue of judicial transparency. In March, Dui Hua marked a key milestone: the foundation submitted its 500th prisoner list to the Chinese government.


In April, Dui Hua co-hosted its ninth expert exchange  “Topics in Juvenile Justice: A Sino-American Exchange.”  with China’s Supreme People’s Court.

In May, Dui Hua made written and oral submissions to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)’s review of China, and in July a submission for China’s fourth Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, calling attention to declines in judicial transparency.



“The Persecution of Unorthodox Religious Groups in China,” a landmark report on religious freedom in China compiled by Dui Hua, was released in March. Weeks later, Dui Hua held its eighth webinar with the Supreme People’s Court of China. The online event “Joint Program on Child Welfare” featured presentations from US and Chinese legal experts on new developments in juvenile justice reform.



Dui Hua concluded the International Symposium on Girls in Conflict with the Law at the end of March, with a webinar featuring representatives from China’s Supreme People’s Court. During the year, Executive Director John Kamm also worked on key cases, including providing support that was essential in lifting the exit bans for US citizens Victor and Cynthia Liu. The siblings returned to the United States more than three years after they were banned from leaving China.

international symposium of girls in conflict with the law


In October, Dui Hua and its co-partners launched the International Symposium on Girls in Conflict with the Law after three years of planning. In this innovative webinar series, experts from 10 countries speak on topics including international perspectives, sexual violence, trafficking, alternatives to incarceration, and pathways into and out of offending for girls.


In June, Dui Hua attended the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Executive Director John Kamm met with officials of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and diplomats representing China, the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Finland. Kamm was also received by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.



In December, Dui Hua staff attended the 17th Session of the Universal Periodic Review convened by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review of China. Dui Hua participated in the NGO submissions process and produced a report summarizing the human rights situation in China in terms of juvenile justice, women in prison, capital punishment, and Endangering State Secrets (ESS) charges, and concluding with a set of recommendations.


In November, Dui Hua and the Supreme People’s Court held its fifth juvenile justice exchange on reform of the juvenile trial system. The exchange was held on November 8-9 and was attended by over forty Chinese participants, including representatives from the Office of Juvenile Trials under the Supreme People’s Court’s Research Department and juvenile judges from courts across fifteen provinces in China.


Dui Hua welcomes the release of professor and attorney Chen Taihe (陈泰和), a leading voice for the adoption of the jury system in China. Dui Hua surpasses 34,000 political prisoners documented and 5,000 prisoners’ names raised with the Chinese government since its founding in 1999.


Dui Hua welcomes the release of American geologist Xue Feng (薛锋), who had been imprisoned for “illegally procuring state secrets” and was reunited with his family in Houston after his release.


Dui Hua holds an international symposium on women in prison with the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; Center for Criminal Procedure and Reform at Renmin University Law School; and Penal Reform International.


The Economist cites Dui Hua’s decade-long tally of Chinese executions as the “best figures available” on the country’s capital punishment statistics.


Dui Hua hosts its third Juvenile Justice Expert Exchange in partnership with China’s Supreme People’s Court. A Chinese delegation spends one week studying the juvenile systems in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Dui Hua expands its mission to include women in prison and juvenile justice.


At the invitation of the Supreme People’s Court, Dui Hua sends a delegation to Beijing and Qingdao for the second Juvenile Justice Expert Exchange.


Dui Hua participates in the first UN Universal Periodic Review of human rights in China and publishes the very first volume of Dui Hua Reference Materials on China’s Criminal Justice System.


China’s Supreme People’s Court travels to the United States to participate in its first Juvenile Justice Expert Exchange with Dui Hua. US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (center) meets with the delegation.


Dui Hua opens its Hong Kong office.


Dui Hua hosts Li Shi’an, professor from Ren Min University and board member of the Chinese Association for Human Rights Studies, in the Bay Area. Activities of the program include visits to criminal justice and penal facilities, as well as a speech at Stanford. 


The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights grants Dui Hua Special Consultative Status.


Executive Director John Kamm becomes the first businessman to win a MacArthur Fellowship, which recognizes “individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” The program describes Kamm as a “human rights strategist.”


Dui Hua welcomes the release of Tibetan singing nun Ngawang Sangdrol, who is believed to be China’s youngest and longest serving female prisoner convicted of counterrevolution. 


Executive Director John Kamm meets paroled Tibetan prisoner Takna Jigme Sangpo, marking both the release of the longest-serving Tibetan political prisoner and the first Chinese government-approved meeting between a foreigner and a political prisoner.


The US Department of State awards Dui Hua Founder & Executive Director John Kamm the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights for engaging China in “results-oriented dialogue on human rights.”


Dui Hua establishes the Political Prisoner Database, which will grow to be the largest database of Chinese prisoners of conscience on the globe.


Dui Hua is incorporated as a nonprofit with the dual purpose of uncovering the names of prisoners of conscience in open-source publications and engaging the Chinese government about these prisoners.

Political Prisoner Database

Since 2000, Dui Hua’s Political Prisoner Database (PPDB) has compiled information about political and religious prisoners incarcerated in China since 1980. Using mostly open-source materials, Dui Hua collects information on non-violent, at-risk detainees including Political Dissidents, Religious Practitioners, Ethnic minorities, Petitioners, and others facing coercive measures.We use the PPDB to advance clemency and better treatment for at-risk detainees by analyzing trends in the persecution and treatment of individuals exercising their human rights; documenting the treatment of prisoners in the criminal justice system; providing raw material for the drafting of prisoner lists; and informing dialogue with government officials.Learn more about the PPDB and how it can help in your advocacy and analysis.

Learn More

Meet Our Team

Dui Hua’s team is dedicated to advancing rights through mutually respectful dialogue. Founder and Executive Director John Kamm, a businessman-turned-activist, possesses unique expertise and insight on China’s at-risk detainees. The Board consists of five members, all with long-standing concern for human rights in China.

John Kamm

Chairman & Executive Director

Read Bio

John Kamm

Chairman & Executive Director

John Kamm is an American businessman and human rights campaigner active in China since 1972. He is the founder and chairman of The Dui Hua Foundation. Kamm was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Best Global Practices Award by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President George W. Bush in 2001. In September 2004, Kamm received a MacArthur Fellowship for “designing and implementing an original approach to freeing prisoners of conscience in China.” Kamm is the first businessman to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2022, he was awarded the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Centennial Medal, citing his “tireless, personal commitment to opening mutually respectful dialogues with Chinese officials about at-risk prisoners, an innovative approach that has spared and improved the lives of so many.”

Since his first intervention on behalf of a Chinese prisoner in May 1990, Kamm has made more than 100 trips to China to engage the government in a dialogue on human rights, focusing on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons. He has made 10 visits to Chinese prisons and has submitted requests for information on more than 1,000 prisoners. In the words of The New York Times, “No other person or organization in the world, including the State Department, has helped more Chinese prisoners.”

Kamm received a BA from Princeton University (1972) and an MA from Harvard University (1975). He was the Hong Kong correspondent and representative of the National Council for US-China Trade (1975-1979) and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (1990). He also managed Occidental Chemical Corporation’s business in China and the Far East (1986-1991).

Irene Chan Kamm

Chief Operating Officer & Board Treasurer

Read Bio

Irene Chan Kamm

Chief Operating Officer & Board Treasurer

Irene Chan Kamm was on Dui Hua’s founding team. She earned a BA in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Master of Social Science in Economics from the University of Hong Kong. Initially employed as a government statistician and economist, she later joined the business sector managing the research department of an international consulting firm and overseeing finance and administration at Diamond Shamrock China and Diamond Shamrock Far East. Irene oversees Dui Hua’s programs, human resources, finance, and development, and works with the Board of Directors to formulate strategies and plans for program and organization sustainability.

Jeffrey S. Muir

Director & Board Secretary

Read Bio

Jeffrey S. Muir

Director & Board Secretary

Jeffrey S. Muir has served as CEO of the EMB Citrus Company (Hong Kong) Ltd. since its formation in 2006. He is responsible for providing strategic vision and overseeing all business operations and government relations related to the company’s Hong Kong office and two operating companies in Chongqing.

Muir resided in Hong Kong from 1975 to 2013, and much of his career has focused on China. Muir was Director & Partner at CCI Asia Pacific Ltd., which provided publishing, translation, and consultancy services related to China, from 1979-1990. He also served as Vice President for Greater China of Hill & Knowlton Co. Ltd, managing the firm’s Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei offices.

Muir was Director of External Affairs, Seagram Asia Pacific from 1996-2003. While at Seagram, Mr. Muir initiated and managed the Seagram citrus project, which provided 1.6 million citrus seedlings to Chongqing farmers free of charge to encourage citrus development. From 2004-2005, Muir was Managing Director, Modern Citrus (Chongqing) Co. Ltd., which investigated the feasibility of investing in orange juice processing in Chongqing.

Mr. Muir graduated from Princeton University in 1973 with a BA in East Asian Studies.
He held leadership positions in the Hong Kong business community for more than 25 years. In 1998, he was appointed the Chairman of the Hong Kong American Chamber of Commerce (then the largest AmCham outside North America). The Chongqing Government recognized Mr. Muir’s contribution to Chongqing’s economic development in 2001 by presenting him with the Three Gorges Foreign Expert Friendship Award. Mr. Muir speaks Mandarin and Cantonese and has a reading knowledge of French. He currently resides in Philadelphia.


William C. McCahill, Jr.


Read Bio

William C. McCahill, Jr.


Bill McCahill is a Senior Resident Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle. He joined NBR in November 2016, focusing on Chinese domestic politics and policies, and on how those affect foreign investors and businesses in China. His professional experience in China dates from 1976.

Before joining NBR, McCahill had been Senior Advisor for China at Mirabaud & Cie., a Geneva-based Swiss private bank. Working from Hong Kong and Suzhou, McCahill advised Mirabaud’s equities traders, capital markets and private banking teams, and their clients. From 2012 through 2014, McCahill had done similar work with the emerging markets investment bank Religare Capital Markets. He had previously co-founded and managed a China-focused equities and macro-economic research firm, opened the Beijing office of a major American law firm, and operated a business consultancy in China.

A 25-year Foreign Service career preceded McCahill’s China business activities. He began his diplomatic service in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Beijing; subsequently held senior posts at US missions in Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada; and in 2000 retired from his last posting as Chargé d’affaires at the American Embassy in Beijing.

His academic credentials include undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston College and Harvard University in Theology, English, the History of Religion, and Sanskrit & Indian Studies.

William Simon


Read Bio

William Simon


William Simon is the Managing Partner of Kura Holdings LLC, a private equity company. Previously he served as the Executive Vice Chairman of Cole Haan LLC and as Managing Partner of Infinity Associates LLC, a business that specialized in acquiring, operating, and nurturing global companies, including those with strong ties to private and governmental entities in China. Over the years, Simon has held the positions of Chairman and/or CEO of more than 20 companies, including The North Face and Converse.

Simon began his involvement with China while attending a trade fair in Shanghai in 1976, where he first met John Kamm. After moving to Hong Kong in 1978, he established a manufacturing enterprise that eventually opened branch offices in nine provinces in China to oversee production of high-end outdoor and apparel products. Other accomplishments include the establishment of one of the first compensation trade agreements between a foreign and Chinese company; acting on behalf of the Chinese Government to obtain licenses to export certain products to the US prior to the establishment of diplomatic relations; and testimony before US Senate and House hearings on China’s Most Favored Nation status.

Simon was born and raised in Michigan and received a BA degree in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. After working in Hong Kong and China for 15 years, he returned to San Francisco where he currently resides. Having a strong desire to help improve relations between American and Chinese citizens, Simon has been an active advocate and supporter of John Kamm since 1990 and Director of Dui Hua since its founding.

Magdalen Yum


Read Bio

Magdalen Yum


Magdalen Yum is a wealth management banker by profession. Having begun her banking career in Hong Kong, Yum immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1990 and has since developed expertise in US and Asian markets.

Yum attended Hong Kong’s Maryknoll Sisters School for both her primary and secondary education and graduated in Business Management from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Yum has always had a special concern for the development of rule of law and juvenile justice in China. She has been a supporter of Dui Hua since its founding.

Harold Furman, II

Honorary Director & Advisor

Read Bio

Harold Furman, II

Honorary Director & Advisor

Harold W. Furman II is the co-founder and chairman of The Furman Group, Inc., a public affairs and professional consulting firm with offices in Washington, DC, and San Diego, California, that provides consulting services to public and private-sector clients involved in the development and financing of water, sanitation, energy, and transportation projects.

Prior to founding The Furman Group in 1992, Furman was a partner in the Washington, DC office of an international law firm that he joined after serving as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Interior for water and science in President Ronald Reagan’s administration. In that capacity, Furman was responsible for the management of the Bureau of Reclamation, the US Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Mines. Furman served as the principal water policy adviser to three secretaries of the Interior. Prior to joining the Reagan administration, Furman served as legislative counsel to US Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada and was a practicing attorney in Reno, Nevada.

In 1994, Furman was a candidate for the US Senate in Nevada. He captured the Republican nomination but was narrowly defeated in the general election by the incumbent US senator.

Following the 2000 elections, Furman served as member of the Department of the Interior transition team for President-Elect George W. Bush. Furman currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute, an internationally recognized marine research institution.

Furman graduated from the University of Southern California and earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Southern California Law Center.

Annual Reports

Dui Hua is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization supported by contributions from private individuals, foundations, corporations, and government grants worldwide. Programmatic and financial reports demonstrate our work and responsible stewardship of funds. Earlier annual reports are available upon request. The Mandarin Chinese version of the 2022 Annual Report is forthcoming.

2022 Annual Report
2021 Annual Report
English Chinese 中文


Bill Clinton

Former US President

"I am particularly moved by your concern about those imprisoned activists who are not prominent. I applaud your efforts, both for the principles your work embodies and the lives you have affected."

Tina Rosenberg

The New York Times Magazine

“No other person or organization in the world … has helped more Chinese prisoners.”

Sun Yunxi

Former Chinese Ambassador to Italy

“Dui Hua has had great success in the field of international human rights … developing close cooperation with the Chinese government … and establishing open channels of communication.”

Kristoffer Ronneberg


“The one organization which has achieved the most in the human rights field in China.”

Xu Zerong

Scholar and freed political prisoner

“With American attention, prison conditions improved, and all prisoners benefited.”

Terry Lautz

Author, Americans in China

"Kamm brought two particular sensibilities to his encounter with the People's Republic: the pragmatism of a down-to-earth businessman and the high-minded idealism of a man of principle. He saw no contradiction between the two. Rather, he harnessed them in tandem."

Director Jiang Jihai

Deputy Director-General of Research Office of Supreme People’s Court of China

“For a long time, China and the United States have carried out exchanges and cooperation in political, economic, cultural, judicial and other fields. Since 2008, we have maintained close exchanges in the field of juvenile justice…I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the judges who have been supporting the project and the friends of the Dui Hua Foundation.”

John Kamm Remembers

Dui Hua's Executive Director, John Kamm, has spent decades advocating on behalf of at-risk detainees in China. In an ongoing series, John recounts the stories of his extensive work before and since the establishment of Dui Hua.

Learn More