According to the Constitution of Finland, people are equal before the law. No one can be placed in a different position without an acceptable reason on the basis of their gender, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other personal reason.
The aim of the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration is to implement the principle of equality as a fundamental right under the Constitution.
According to the Constitution of Finland, children have the right to be treated equally as individuals. According to legislation, they have the right to influence matters pertaining to themselves to a degree corresponding to their level of development. This is also acknowledged in the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration that contains a general provision on finding out a child’s opinion and their right to be heard.
Several provisions of the Constitution are important for the act on immigration
The freedom of movement gives foreigners who are legally residing in a country the right to move in the country and choose their place of residence. Everyone also has the right to leave the country.
The Constitution guarantees everyone’s private life, honour and the sanctity of the home. The premise of the right to private life is that individuals have the right to live their own lives. Authorities and other parties may not interfere with private life without a good reason.
Everyone has the right to earn their livelihood through the employment, occupation or trade of their choice. The public authorities shall take responsibility for the protection of the labour force. The public authorities must promote employment and aim to ensure everyone’s right to work. The right to participate in training that promotes employment is provided for by law.
If a person is unable to obtain the means necessary for a life of dignity, they have the right to receive indispensable subsistence and care. The provision of the Constitution of Finland concerns the “last resort” income: If a person does not receive income from any other source, an obligation becomes effective that is resolved with social allowance for the part of income.
The services organised for immigrants are affected by the provision of the Constitution of Finland regarding municipal self-governance. The general grounds of a municipality’s administration and their tasks are provided for in legislation. However, municipalities have the opportunity to decide independently how to organise statutory services in its area.
The Constitution of Finland