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Govt, jailers to hold talks on protecting inmates’ dignity

The Mandela Rules outline the minimum standards that should be applied in prisons to safeguard a prisoner’s dignity.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2017 23:30 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian jails,Nelson Mandela Rules,Standard Minimum Rules
Ministry officials will discuss the possibility of introducing reforms in jails with a special focus on protecting the human rights of prisoners.(HT File Photo)

In a move that might lead to better facilities for inmates, the Union home ministry and jail authorities from across the country are likely to discuss the possibility of implementing the Nelson Mandela Rules in a meeting on Thursday.

Adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the Standard Minimum Rules (for prisoners) were re-named ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’ to honour the legacy of the late South African President, who spent 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid.

The Mandela Rules outline the minimum standards that should be applied in prisons to safeguard a prisoner’s dignity.

Some of the key features of the rules include access to medical and health services for inmates, disciplinary measures against erring jail staffers, investigation into deaths and torture in custody and inmates’ access to legal representation and complaint mechanism.

Ministry officials said during the meeting, which would be attended by directors and inspector generals of prisons, they would discuss the possibility of introducing reforms in jails with a special focus on protecting the human rights of prisoners.

“The review meeting is being conducted to take stock of prison reforms and improvements made by the jail administration. Mandela Rules, the Model Prison Manual and advisories issued by MHA on issues relating to prison reforms will be discussed in the meeting,” a home ministry official said.

A ministry source said a study by the National Human Rights commission titled “Suicides in Prison: Prevention, Strategy and Implication from Human Rights and Legal Points of View” would also be discussed.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 23:30 IST