"Nelson Mandela Rules" on prisoner treatment presented

Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

New rules to help improve the treatment of prisoners around the world, were formally presented at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday.

The updated standards – also known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" – outline standard minimum treatment practices for those who are incarcerated.

The Secretary General's representative said they should be seen as a "work in progress".

The rules – named after the former South African president, Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail – are likely to be adopted by the UN General Assembly later this year.

They are not legally-binding on member states, but the rules have not been revised since their original adoption at the UN in the 1950s.

Matthew Wells reports.

Duration: 3’14″

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