Finland, officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta), is a country in Northern Europe. Its population is about 5.4 million and its official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Its capital and largest city is Helsinki. Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.

From the 12th to the early 19th century, Finland was part of Sweden. It later became an autonomous duchy within imperial Russia until 1917, when the Finns declared independence after the Russian Revolution. A civil war broke out between the pro-Bolshevik "Reds" and pro-conservative "Whites", which concluded with victory for the "Whites", who were supported by Germany. Finland then became a republic after a brief attempt to establish a monarchy in the country. During World War II (1939-1945), Finland's involvement was mainly on its defensive battles against the Soviet Union until it started fighting against Nazi Germany from late 1944 until the end of the war.

Finland is governed by a parliamentary republic with the President as the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government. It has a highly developed economy and is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, in addition to having high standards of education and living. It is also a member of the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations.

Spanking in FinlandEdit

A traditionally popular spanking implement in Finland was the birch.

Parental spanking was banned in Finland in 1983, 4 years after Sweden had been the first country worldwide to illegalize any form of corporal punishment for children.

A UNICEF survey from 2000-2010 found that Finnish children are more tolerant of corporal punishment then their other Nordic neighbours. Of the 1,044 students aged 12-16, 27% thought “a child can be corporally punished using mild forms of punishment (e.g. smacking)” and only 55.8% felt that “a child should never be corporally punished”.[1] Regional breakdowns showed that in the North, such as in Finnish Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu, more children were in favour of corporal punishment than in other parts of the country.[2]

Judicial CPEdit

Main article: Judicial corporal punishment

In 1931 it was recorded that courts could order boys and girls aged 7 to 16 to be birched by order of the courts. This was to be carried out by the parent or guardian at home, with an official witness, but if the parent or guardian refused to do it, a court official would carry out the punishment.[3]

There were 178 of these juvenile birchings in 1927 (167 boys and 11 girls). Cadogan[4] adds that 911 such cases were recorded in the period 1930 to 1934. It is not known when these legal provisions were rescinded.

Finnish spanking artEdit

None known so far.


  1. Corporal punishment of children in Finland (PDF)
  2. Many Finnish children approve of corporal punishment
  3. Benson, George; Glover, Edward. "Corporal punishment: An indictment", Howard League for Penal Reform, London, 1931 (in particular Appendix I, "The law and practice of other countries").
  4. Cadogan Report ("Report of the Departmental Committee on Corporal Punishment"), HMSO, London, 1938 (in particular Appendix V, "The law relating to corporal punishment in certain foreign countries and in His Majesty's Dominions").

See alsoEdit