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The Republic of Panama Commemorates Nelson Mandela International Day

In order to commemorate the Nelson Mandela International Day, the SECOPA Project, implemented by UNODC and with the financial support of the European Union, organized, jointly with the Ministry of Government and the Prison System of the Republic of Panama, a training workshop on the Nelson Mandela Rules.

The workshop was addressed to Prison Directors, Heads of the Directorate General of Prisons and coordinators of the Technical Boards. The event also included the participation of a representative of prison guards and prisoners.

During the workshop, the prison authorities of Panama made a commitment to promote humane and dignified conditions of imprisonment and strengthen reintegration programs aimed at persons deprived of their liberty. Likewise the authorities stressed the important work done by prison staff who perform a social service of great importance for the community.

As part of the activities to commemorate this day, UNODC donated dozens of books to the libraries in prisons within the framework of the campaign "A book for prison, a window to freedom". Along with the donation of the books, discussions will held with prisoners to share the legacy of Nelson Mandela and promote the content of the rules that bear his name.

UNODC and the Panamanian authorities agreed that the challenge relies on implementing the Nelson Mandela Rules and mobilizing all possible efforts to ensure that the application of these rules produces a difference in the lives of over 17,000 prisoners.

Copies of the Rules were delivered to the participants of the workshop, prisoners, prison guards and national press.

The Regional Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean in Panama (UNODC ROPAN) will continue providing technical assistance and advice to the Ministry of Government of Panama and the Directorate General of Prisons to implement the Nelson Mandela Rules. These constitute an updated guide to administer prisons in a safe and humane manner, respecting the human rights of people deprived of liberty and prison staff. 

For more information on the Nelson Mandela Rules please refer to: