The Nelson Mandela Rules

Since 2010, the United Nations celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day to recognise the former South African President's outstanding contribution to a culture of peace and freedom. For the first time this year, the United Nations also uses today's occasion to draw attention to the more than 10 million prisoners worldwide as well as to the work of those entrusted with their safe, secure and humane custody.

"I call on every country to join UNODC in ensuring that the Nelson Mandela Rules make a difference to the lives of prisoners globally",  stresses Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC. "UNODC stands ready to assist." As the custodian of the Nelson Mandela Rules, UNODC has been proactive in turning them into action by launching a new Global Programme on Addressing Prison Challenges. Building on its long-standing experience and expertise in in the field of prison reform, this comprehensive Programme is focussing on providing technical assistance and advisory services to  reduce the scope of imprisonment;  improve prison conditions and strengthening prison management; and  support the social reintegration of prisoners upon release.