Nelson Mandela International Day 2020

Maldives: UNODC officially presents the Dhivehi translation of the Nelson Mandela Rules to the Vice President


Maldives, 18 July 2020: Commemorating the Nelson Mandela international Day, UNODC presented the translated version of the Nelson Mandela Rules (NMR) in Dhivehi (the local language), to the Government of Maldives. UNODC in coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs of Maldives, translated and assisted with the printing of 2000 copies of the document.

In an official ceremony held at the President’s Office in the Maldives. the NMR was officially presented to His Excellency Faisal Naseem, Vice President of Maldives by Ms. Catherine Haswell, United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) for the Maldives and Honorable Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdulla.

During the meeting, His Excellency Mr. Faisal Naseem, Vice President, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to prison reform, saying, "The Government of the Maldives see prisons as places for rehabilitation and not for punishment. It is necessary that prisoners receive the rehabilitation they need and the access to vocational skill building activities, so that their reintegration back into community is made effective.” 

UNRC for the Maldives, Ms. Catherine Haswell highlighted the importance of rehabilitation for all prisoners. “Rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners back into their respective communities must be core to the justice system. This focus fundamentally shifts the relationship between the State and prisoners throughout the entire period of their interaction, for which the Mandela rules provide a clear and comprehensive framework.  This approach supports government initiatives towards prison reform, and addresses the systemic challenges faced by prisons across the world such as over-crowding, limited access to basic services, and the safety of prisoners, prison staff and the community,” she said.

Reiterating the Government’s commitment, Honourable Minister Imran Abdulla stated that every prison officer within the Maldives Correctional Service and Maldives Police Custodial Services will be provided with a copy of the translation, aimed to enhance knowledge and understanding of prison staff on the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, rights of prisoners and obligation of the State to ensure a humane approach in addressing prison issues.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ali Nazeer and Ms. Thoiba Saeedh, National Programme Coordinator, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia.

Dhivehi translation of the Nelson Mandela Rules can be accessed here.