Nelson Mandela International Day

UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)

18 July, 2016

Background- 18 July, 2016- This year marks the first celebration of the Nelson Mandela International Day. In memory of Nelson Mandela, UNODC Regional Office in Eastern Africa (ROEA) would like to contribute to the celebration by highlighting the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules. The UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 in December 2015 revised the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and also approved that the rules should be known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules". This was done in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa who spent 27 years in prison and fought for global human rights, democracy and the promotion of culture of peace.

The General Assembly, in operation with paragraph 7 of resolution A/RES/70/175 also 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 and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance, and to this end invites Member States, regional organizations and organizations of the United Nations system to celebrate this occasion in an appropriate manner".

UNODC ROEA has prepared a multi-media platform that illustrates how UNODC ROEA helps assist in ensuring that all rules are upheld in prison, but especially highlights some rules in order to provide our viewers with specific examples of the great work that UNODC and the Prisons in the Eastern Africa region do on a daily basis.

To have an in-debth look at the Mandela Rules go to

Please click on one of the links below to see the remarkable work that is being done.


Shimo La Tewa, Kenya

Garowe Prison, Somalia

Mogadishu Central Prison, Somalia

Hargeisa Prison, Somalia

Zanzibar Prison, Tanzania

Beau Bassin Prison, Mauritius

Montagne Posee Prison, Seychelles

Malindi Prison, Kenya

Kaliti High Security Prison, Ethiopia

 For more information on the International Nelson Mandela Day please visit: