United Nations

Distr.: General
8 January 2016

General Assembly
Seventieth session
Agenda item 106

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 17 December 2015
[on the report of the Third Committee (A/70/490)]

70/175. United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the
Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)
The General Assembly,
Guided by the principal purposes of the United Nations, as set out in the
Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights,1 and inspired by the determination to reaffirm faith in fundamental
human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, without distinction of
any kind, and in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising
from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained and to
promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recalling all standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice
developed at the request of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice and adopted or recommended by the General Assembly, or adopted by a
United Nations congress on the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders,
and recognizing that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a source of
inspiration for the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and
criminal justice,
Bearing in mind the long-standing concern of the United Nations for the
humanization of criminal justice and the protection of human rights, and
emphasizing the fundamental importance of human rights in the daily administration
of criminal justice and crime prevention,
Aware that the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners2 have
been the universally acknowledged minimum standards for the detention of
prisoners and that they have been of significant value and influence, as a guide, in
the development of correctional laws, policies and practices since their adoption by
the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders, in 1955,

Resolution 217 A (III).
Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments, Volume I (First Part), Universal Instruments
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.02.XIV.4 (Vol. I, Part 1)), sect. J, No. 34.

15-16929 (E)


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