An inmate grasps the bars of an outside wall at the Penitentiary on which a mural of prisoners has been drawn. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. UN Photo/Victoria Hazou

It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.

– Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela Rules

In the resolution A/RES/70/175, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day, observed each year on 18 July, to be also utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment; to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society; to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules” in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.

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