UNODC ROCA Discusses with State Partners the Implementation of Nelson Mandela Rules in Prison Management of Uzbekistan

In support of the Nelson Mandela International Day, UNODC conducted an online roundtable to discuss key principles of human rights protection especially of those who are deprived of liberty. 

Over 50 participants took part in the discussion of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners known as the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Mr. Mirzatilla Tillabaev, First Deputy Director of the National Human Rights Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Uygun Nigmadjanov, Deputy Head of the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Mr. Shah Salman Khan, UNODC Drug Control Crime Prevention Officer discussed the topics on Nelson Mandela Rules with the participants. Specific emphasize was given to the importance of prison services management, one of the fundamental directions in the protection of human rights and freedoms. 

“Uzbekistan, as part of the international community, pays great attention to the implementation of its international obligations, including in the field of protecting the rights of detainees, prisoners, and convicts. Now the country is undergoing constitutional reform, and within the framework of the reform, the constitutional commission proposed to include in the text of the Constitution norms - humane treatment of prisoners and convicts. Ideas that are laid down in the Nelson Mandela Rules will be incorporated at the constitutional level. The criminal law policy is being improved in the country, a draft penal code has been developed with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other interested parties, and it is under discussion. These new documents also reflect the norms stipulated in the Nelson Mandela Rules”, said Mr. Mirzatilla Tillabaev, First Deputy Director of the National Human Rights Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Mr. Batyr Saparbaev, UNODC Regional expert on penitentiary issues for Central Asian countries emphasized that the number of imprisoned in Central Asia is 102 213 and to reduce this number, there is a strong need to introduce rehabilitation and reintegration programmes. As Mr. Batyr Saparbaev informed, that UNODC has launched its toolkit on the Mandela Rules for the treatment of prisoners which is  aimed at improving prison staff training, prison inspections and sound prison legislation.

According to Mr. Shah Salman Khan, UNODC Drug Control Crime Prevention Officer: “Prisons are not to punish, rather their primary function is reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offenders back in the society. This can only be achieved by respecting the inherent dignity of prisoners as human beings and respecting their rights. To quote Fyodor Dostoevsky, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Nelson Mandela Rules provide us with the guidance for establishment of safe and humane prisons where prisoners are treated with dignity to assure that they are successfully reintegrated back into the society as responsible citizens. On this Nelson Mandela Day, let’s make a pledge to work together to establish prison systems that adhere to the standards and guidance provided by Nelson Mandela Rules, and ensure that rights of people who are deprived of liberty are respected and protected, and their dignity is preserved”.

Nelson Mandela Rules, which emphasize the provision of health care services to prisoners, is considered as the State’s responsibility, and the attitude of health-care professionals towards prisoners is governed by the same ethical and professional standards as those applicable to patients in the local community.

In 2021, UNODC together with National Human Rights Centre, the Academy of the General Prosecutor’s Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan conducted trainings among cadets and law enforcement bodies across the country to introduce and apply the Nelson Mandela Rules into practice and educated over 1,200 prison service officers in the past six months. 


For more information, contact Vasilina Brazhko (Ms.)

Communication and PR Specialist at

UNODC Criminal Justice and PVE Programmes in Central Asia

At +996775987817 WhatsApp

vasilina.brazhko [at]