Ambassador Paredes receives a memento from Mr. Ayuth Sintoppant, Director General, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice, Thailand
(photo credit: UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific)
BANGKOK, 22 JULY 2022 – Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Millicent Cruz Paredes, together with the diplomatic corps in Bangkok, joined the special event “Enriching the value of prisoners’ lives through social rehabilitation and artistic activities” in observance of Nelson Mandela International Day, held on 18 July 2022 at the Thonburi Remand Prison in Bangkok. The event was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with the support of the Thai Ministry of Justice.
Nelson Mandela International Day is observed every year on July 18th “to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society, and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance” (source: UNODC invitation).
In 2017, Thonburi Remand Prison was the first in Thailand to pilot the implementation of the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners or better known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules.”
At this year’s commemorative event, visitors saw first-hand how Thonburi Remand Prison has implemented the Nelson Mandela Rules in the Thai context. The Prison focuses on rehabilitation activities, including vocational training in traditional Thai craftsmanship and the arts. Guests were given special access to the reception, classification, healthcare, and pre-release support facilities for prisoners, which are not open to the public. They were also treated to a cultural performance by the inmates.
Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 - 05 December 2013) spent 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid in South Africa. He is the country’s first democratically elected and first black President, having served from 1994 to 1999. Mr. Mandela, with former South African President F.W. de Klerk, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for leading the transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy. (sources: brittanica.com and nelsonmandela.org).
Thonburi Remand Prison has been in operation since 9 August 1994. It hosts almost 3,000 male prisoners with sentences of 15 years or less. END.