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Prison Staff and Prisoners Participated in the Commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day

Photo: People were informed of their right to one's own image and those who showed their face gave voluntary informed consent.

Every year, on the day that the person of Nelson Mandela is commemorated (July 18), the foundation that bears his name makes a call to dedicate 67 minutes (one for each year of public service of Nelson Mandela) to work for the benefit of the community.

The General Office of the Prison System, the Prison Training Academy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), responded to this call and held talks with prisoners and prison staff in two Panamanian prisons.

In the Women's Rehabilitation Centre and TinajitasĀ“ Prison a 67 minute-activity was conducted in order to remember the important legacy of Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for global human rights, equality, democracy and the promotion of a culture of peace.

During the event different Nelson Mandela Rules were analyzed, in particular those relating to the participation of persons deprived of liberty, education, job training and cultural activities. In order to implement the Rules, UNODC donated books to the libraries of both prisons within the framework of the campaign 'A book for prison, a window to freedom'. Additionally, brochures on the rights and obligations of prisoners were delivered and all participants were provided with copies of the Nelson Mandela Rules.

In December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Nelson Mandela Rules, one of the most significant developments in modern international law. These rules represent an updated blueprint for prison management in the 21st century which upholds and promotes prisoners' dignity.

The Ministry of Government, through the General Office of the Prison System and with the technical assistance of UNODC, expresses its commitment to comply with the Nelson Mandela Rules and make their best efforts to dignify the conditions of detention and achieve the social reintegration of prisoners in the framework of international standards on human rights.