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

Authors: Suleman Ibrahim; Sirkka Komulainen

Addresses: The School of Law, The Centre for Criminology and Sociology, Royal Holloway University of London, TW20 0EX Surrey, UK ' Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 9, FI-48401 Kotka, Finland

Abstract: 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 (United Nations, 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.

Keywords: physical punishment; sociocultural variations; children's rights; child protection; criminology claims; Ghana; Finland; corporal punishment; human rights; juvenile delinquency; child rearing; parenting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2016.076060

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2016 Vol.4 No.1, pp.54 - 74

Received: 08 Jan 2016
Accepted: 10 Jan 2016

Published online: 22 Apr 2016 *

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