Dr. Afua Twum-Danso Imoh

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Afua joined the department as a lecturer in the sociology of childhood in September 2008 after completing her PhD at the Centre of West African Studies, the University of Birmingham. Prior to taking up this post, she was a Visiting Lecturer in Children´s Rights at Roehampton University. Her professional experience has also included working for ECPAT International, an international non-governmental organisation based in Bangkok, Thailand working against the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and undertaking consultancies for the Institute of Security Studies based in Pretoria, South Africa and the Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child in Accra, Ghana.


Afua’s ESRC-funded PhD research focused on eliciting the perceptions of local communities on children’s rights, the construction of childhood and the socialization of children and exploring the implications for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in two inner city communities in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The premise of the thesis was that there is a need to move beyond the universality vs. cultural relativity dichotomy and focus more on how communities can be engaged in the interpretation and implementation of the Convention and children´s rights more generally. The research was interdisciplinary and drew heavily on the fields of human rights law, sociology and anthropology and further highlighted the need for synergy between these disciplines.

Following on from this research, Afua has now embarked on a new research project which aims to elicit children’s perceptions of physical punishment in Ghana, which is funded by the Nuffield Foundation Small Grants Scheme. In addition, on behalf of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, she is leading a project which aims to assess the progress of the concept of children’s participation within the Yorkshire region of the UK. This is funded by the University of Sheffield’s Knowledge Transfer Rapid Response Grant.

Her current research interests include: the global export of a particular notion of childhood through international law and policies and its impact on local communities; the implementation of international children’s rights standards within a developing country context; the impact of cultural values such as reciprocity, respect and responsibility on children’s rights principles; the socialization of children and changing parent-child relations and the implications for children’s welfare and rights; the concept of children’s participation in non-Western societies.

Learn more about Afua’s research by listening to her podcast, Diversities in Contemporary Childhoods in Sub Saharan Africa

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