The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRs) were initially adopted by the UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1955, and approved by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1957.
On 17 December 2015 a revised version of the Standard Minimum Rules were adopted unanimously by the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in Resolution A/RES/70/175; (see PRI’s press release). This followed a four-year revision process after a 2010 UN General Assembly resolution which requested revision of the SMRs ‘so that they reflect recent advances in correctional science and best practices’. Find out more on the revision process.
The revised Rules are known as the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules‘ to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who spent so many years of his life in prison.
PRI has also produced a Short Guide to the Nelson Mandela Rules in eight languages.
Download a copy of the Nelson Mandela Rules here:
English: Marked version showing substantive revisions
Spanish: Versión marcada con revisiones sustantivas
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