Conference on Volunteerism in Serbia

27 June 2005

The conference aimed to provide a forum for discussion on the legal and practical impediments to volunteering and the need to address them through legal reform. The conference was opened by Ms. Jelica Rajacic-Capakovic (Secretariat of Vojvodina for Labor, Employment and Gender Equality) who expressed support to the initiative for regulating volunteering, and informed the participants that the Secretariat is interested to develop a Declaration to promote volunteering, and launch an initiative for drafting a law on volunteering.

Further speakers, including Mr. Vladimir Kozbasic (Secretariat of Vojvodina for Youth and Sport) and Mr. Endre Balassa (America's Development Foundation) also welcomed the initiative for regulating volunteering.

In a plenary session, Ms. Katerina Hadzi-Miceva (ICNL) discussed the challenges of regulation and provided an overview of regional examples and lessons learnt. Ms. Zivka Vasilevska (Center for Development of the Not-for-Profit Sector) presented the results of the analysis on how the legal framework in Serbia affects volunteering. Ms. Ivana Koprivica from IZVoR provided an overview of the preliminary results of the research on practical obstacles to volunteering, which was conducted through written questionnaires and focus groups. Conference participants convened in working groups to define the minimum rights of volunteers and develop recommendations for issues that a law on volunteerism should contain. A final report of the conference will be available on ICNL/ECNL web sites soon.

The conference, among others, was supported by USAID/Serbia, the Government of Vojvodina Secretariat for Sport and Youth and the Secretariat for Labor, Employment and Gender Equality.