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The notion of human rights can be defined as those fundamental rights, which cannot be alienated, fundamental, to which a person is entitled inherently, simply because he or she is a human being.

Since we are all people, regardless the race, sex, ethnicity and religion, we all have legal rights. Unfortunately we cannot state that nowadays, human rights are respected everywhere.

Human rights have certain characteristics which make them specific:
– Inherent, which means that they are enjoyed by everyone, cannot be lost

– Universal, common to all people, regardless the race, sex, language, religion, etc

– Indivisible and interdependent, this means that they cannot be isolated from each other

– Do not depend of anyone’s promise or guarantee, but only on the condition of being human

European Union actively promotes and defends human rights, both internally and in its relations with the outside countries. In the E.U., the fundamental rights are being nationally guaranteed by the constitution, and at European level, by the Charter of Fundamental Rights (adopted in 2000 and mandatory for the E.U. countries since 2009). The Charter of Fundamental Rights includes the full range of rights, namely civil rights, political, economical and social rights, all these being systematized in six chapters: “Dignity”, “Freedom”, “Equality”, “Solidarity”, “Citizenship” and “Justice”.

From the multitude of rights we can enumerate, as examples, the following:

– Right to life, a person’s right to integrity, prohibiting torture and inhumane or degrading treatment, prohibiting slavery or forced labor, etc. (chapter I – “Dignity”)

– Right to freedom and safety, respect for private and family life, data protection, the right to marry and the right to form a family, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and religion, etc. (chapter II – “Freedom”)

– Children’s rights, elderly people’s rights, integration of disabled people, etc (chapter III – “Equality”)

– Protection from unjustified dismissal, fair working conditions, prohibiting child labor and protecting young people at work, family and professional life, social security and social assistance, etc (chapter IV – “Solidarity”)

– The right to elect and to be elected in the European Parliament, the right to elect and to be elected in local elections, etc (chapter V – “Citizenship”)

– The right to effective remedy and to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence and the right to defense, principles of legality and proportionality for crimes and punishments, the right of not being judged or convicted twice for the same criminal act (chapter VI – “Justice”)

The European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has an important significance for the international law of human rights because:

– It was the first treaty in the world on human rights

– It established the first procedure and international court where they may address complaints in the human rights domain.

– It is the most developed and the most efficient of all systems of human rights

– The developed jurisprudence is the largest compared to any other international system.

The rights under the Convention are: the right to life, the right to a fair trial in civil and criminal matters, the right to respect private life and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to an effective appeal, the right to respect personal property, the right to vote and the right to be present at elections.

The prohibitions set out in the Convention and its Protocols are: torture and degrading or inhumane punishments and treatments, illegal and arbitrary detention, discrimination in which regards exercising the rights and the freedoms recognized by the Convention, deportation and non-receipt of a state’s own citizens, death penalty, collective deportation of foreigner citizens.

When a person’s rights stipulated in the Convention are violated, he has the possibility to file a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court has the mission in seeing that what is stipulated in the European Convention of Human Rights is being respected by the signatory states, and also in seeing that what is stipulated in the Protocols auxiliary to the Convention is also respected by the signatory states.

Submitting a petition to the ECHR, is done in several steps, the first step is verifying the eligibility criteria. To address the Court is necessary:

– The applicant to have exhausted all remedies provided by national courts

– Not to have passed more than six months since the exhaustion of the last appeal (since the final national decision)

– The applicant has to be able to prove that at least one of the rights protected by the Convention had been violated and that this right was violated by one of the Convention’s signatory state.

– The events under examination must have occurred after the date of signing the Convention by the state against the complaint is to be filed.

The Court pronounces decisions only in cases declared as admissible. It deliberates regarding the existence or non-existence of any human rights violation and may pronounce punishments, according to each case.