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What are fundamental and human rights?



When the Ombudsman investigates complaints, he considers if fundamental rights and human rights have been respected in the case.

The people in Finland are protected by laws.
 
Some of the most important laws are about fundamental rights in Finland, fundamental rights of the European Union and international human rights.

Every person has fundamental rights.
 
They are rights that are stated in the Constitution of Finland.
They are basic values that are important for everyone.

The fundamental rights protect each person's freedom. 
 
The government, municipalities or authorities may not take away a person's freedom.

An example of fundamental rights is that everyone has the right to life.
 
Everyone has the right to personal freedom and integrity.
 
Everyone has the freedom to move and to protect his or her private life.
 
Everyone has the freedom of speech and the freedom of taking part in meetings and being a member of an association.
 
Everyone's property is protected.
 
This means that you cannot take or destroy things that belong to an
other person. 

The fundamental rights include economic rights, social rights and cultural rights.
Examples of these are the right to work and social security and the right to education.
 
The Constitution also protects equality.

The Constitution contains the right to take part in elections.
 
The Constitution gives every Finnish citizen the right to use his or her own language.
 
The Constitution also protects the environment.
 
Every Finnish person has legal protection.
It means that the laws protect their rights.
The European Union has a Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Charter explains what people's fundamental rights are.
 
The Member States of the European Union and their authorities must comply with the fundamental rights.
 
Human rights belong to everyone.
They are stated in international human rights treaties.
 
The Finnish Government has promised to make sure that all Finnish citizens and everyone living in Finland have these rights.

The purpose of human rights is to make sure that everyone can have a life where they are treated with respect.