One of the shared features of the Nordic countries’ approach towards children in conflict with the law is that there is no distinct criminal justice system for children; children in conflict with the law are treated within the same system as adults, albeit with specific regulations and sanctions designed specifically for children. The fact that children are handled within the same system as adults raises the question of whether and how the ‘punitive turn, Nordic style’, which, according to criminological scholars, emerged during the 1990s, has influenced the treatment and punishment of children within the criminal justice system. This question is particularly relevant as children are protected by specific human rights provisions, most notably the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Based on a descriptive statistical data analysis, this article explores whether a change in the use of sanctions towards children in the Danish criminal justice system can be observed in the period from 1980 to 2020. The findings are related to a discussion about children’s entitlement to special protection under the CRC.
Original languageDanish
Article number3/23
JournalNordisk Tidsskrift for Kriminalvidenskab
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)275-294
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Cite this