Fundamental and Human Rights in Finland

Fundamental rights

Fundamental rights are rights under the Constitution of Finland that are guaranteed for all. They are binding on all public bodies. Fundamental rights safeguard individuals’ rights against interference by public authority.

Fundamental rights can only be restricted by law and even then only on specific grounds. Fundamental rights represent the central fundamental values of a democratic constitutional state.

Human rights

Human rights are basic rights that apply to all people and are protected throug several international conventions. They are implemented at the national level and are binding on Finland also under international law.

Human rights should also be seen as the shared values of all humanity that are morally binding on all actors of society.

Fundamental rights and human rights

Fundamental rights and human rights complement each other and together form a legal protection system. A public authority has the duty to safeguard and promote these rights.

International conventions provide the minimum level of rights; a higher level of rights can be implemented at the national level.

After national fundamental rights' reform in 1995, the fundamental rights were incorporated into the current Constitution, which entered into force on 1 March 2000.

After the constitutional reform, a broad approach to fundamental rights has been adopted in Finland. The state has the duty to take active measures to safeguard and promote fundamental and human rights.