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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

Last update: 30 March 2024

Youth volunteering and volunteering with children and youth have a long tradition in the Czech Republic. It is estimated that around one half of all volunteering activities in the country is done by young people and youth organizations.

Volunteering is seen as part of a civil society ethos and role, is therefore not regulated by the State. Legislation only applies to specific voluntary service activities. No specific Youth volunteering public scheme exists. The historical aspect of misusing volunteering effiorts by the communist regime between 1948 and 1989 for ideological purposes of the Communist Party and the communist state remains a persistent stigma to these activities.

However, for a long time the Czech NGO sector and youth NGOs have been motivated to create enabling conditions for volunteering, and have called for better recognition of volunteering: in pqrticular the introduction of state benefits for volunteering by individuals and voluntary organizations.

The public debate on the Act on supporting volunteering started after the turn of the millennium gained further momentum in 2011 – The European Year of Volunteering, which was championed during the Czech EU Presidency of Council of the EU in 2009. 2011 saw numerous activities take place in the Czech Republic on volunteering, with state bodies beginning preparation on appropriate legal matters. However, it was not possible to reach a general consensus between various sectors and public policies on the approach and content.. Therefore the Government decided by the end of 2016 to halt the preparation of a separate legal Act on volunteering.

The state focused more on supporting the development of general volunteering and supportive regional infrastructure, and youth voluntary activities are thus supported within the state youth work schemes and by regional, local and private actors.

The Czech Council of Children and Youth, as the independent National Youth Council of most of the nationwide youth organisations, carried out the SAFE mapping project, monitoring and calculating the value and social benefit of youth voluntary activities and with very positive outcomes.

The state youth policy also worked on the recognition and validation of skills acquired through volunteeringm as well as through non-formal and informal learning; where some positive achievements have been noted (for details see chapter 2.8).