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There is not a standalone national Strategy on Youth Volunteering in Cyprus.
However, one of the 8 thematic areas covered by National Youth Strategy (more information is included in Chapter 1) is volunteering. The Strategy outlines the following seven priorities when it comes to youth volunteering:
- To institutionalize volunteering and to promote voluntary activities inside and outside school/university and/or work environment.
- To educate young people about their obligations and rights as volunteers.
- To promote modern forms of volunteering.
- To establish minimum standards for issuing a certificate for volunteers.
- To ensure that the rights of volunteers are not exploited.
- To support voluntary and Non-Governmental Organizations.
- To promote volunteering at national and transnational levels as a means of expressing solidarity.
Also, the ‘Declaration of rights and responsibilities of the volunteers’ («Διακήρυξη των δικαιωμάτων και των υποχρεώσεων των εθελοντών») is an official document approved by the Council of Ministers that establishes a common basis for volunteering. It was introduced in 2016 by the Commissioner for Volunteering and Non-Governmental Organizations and is based on relevant declarations from the European Commission, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe. It targets volunteers in general and is not specific to young volunteers.
The Declaration outlines the rights of volunteers which are clustered as follows: (i) basic rights (ii) rights in receiving support from the voluntary organizations (iii) rights to personal development. It also covers the responsibilities of the volunteer and the responsibilities of the voluntary organizations which are clustered as below: (i) basic responsibilities (ii) responsibilities to support volunteers (iii) responsibilities towards the personal development of the volunteer and (iv) cooperation with other voluntary organizations.
Although approved by the Council of Ministers, the Declaration does not function as a binding document for all volunteers, voluntary activities and organizations. Instead, it serves as a point of reference for the design and upgrading of policies related to volunteering, in terms of safeguarding the rights and obligations of volunteers.