“Mandela Rules” – revised UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners

The "Mandela Rules", a revision of the 1955 United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners, were adopted by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria on 22 May 2015. The "Mandela Rules" describe good principles and practice in prisoner treatment and prison management, and represent the minimum conditions that are accepted as suitable by the UN.

Revisions regarding rules of general application were included for both basic principles and specific themes such as health-care services, discipline and punishment, information to and complaints by prisoners and institutional personnel.

Revised rules applicable to special categories concern, for example, prisoners under arrest or awaiting trial and prisoners with mental disabilities and/or health conditions.

The corresponding resolution has been transmitted to the UN Economic and Social Council for upcoming adoption by the UN General Assembly at the end of the year. WHO participated in the expert group meetings responsible for the revision process together with partner agencies working to improve health in prisons.