Physical punishment in Ghana and Finland: criminological, sociocultural, human rights and child protection implications

Suleman Ibrahim, Sirkka Komulainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This article deploys a critical examination of criminology-claims regarding connections between physical punishment (PP) and juvenile delinquency connection. With a particular focus on PP of children as a risk factor, this article explores the multifacetedness of ‘what is true of all societies and what is true of one society at one point in time and space’. Drawing on sociocultural variations, Ghana and Finland, representing Sub-Saharan and Nordic regions respectively, will be presented as two different kinds of exemplary cultural contexts. A critical look is also taken on the UN Convention (1989) on children’s rights regarding global-sociocultural diversity in child-rearing and parenting. It is maintained that mainstream criminological associations between PP and juvenile delinquency are not universalisable due to sociocultural variations across regions. Concomitantly, tensions remain in understanding the impacts of PP vis-a-vis mainstream child protection discourses/practices as well as making these discourses/practices a reality in non-Western regions such as Ghana.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies
Number of pages21
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2016


  • Child protection
  • Children's right
  • Physical punishment
  • Sociocultural variations
  • Ghana and Finland
  • criminology applications

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