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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.4 Youth Volunteering at national level

Last update: 1 April 2024
On this page
  1. National Programme for Youth Volunteering
  2. Funding
  3. Characteristics of youth volunteering
  4. Support to young volunteers
  5. Target groups

National Programme for Youth Volunteering

There is no dedicated national programme for youth volunteering, the National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap) is the most relevant actor worth mentioning. (For more information see sub-chapter 2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering.)

Year of Volunteering in Hungary

For the 20th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (2001) and for the 10th anniversary of the European Year of Volunteering (2011), the Year of Volunteering in Hungary (Önkéntesség Magyarországi Éve) was organised in 2021. The general aim was to raise awareness to the importance of volunteering and to bring together the three important sectors (civil society, the government and the business area).

The main aim of the programme was to promote volunteering and to involve as many people and target groups as possible in volunteering activities. In the thematic year, several events were organised, including thematic weeks, an international conference, an online academic volunteering conference, a series of 'Volunteers of the Week'.

The government also linked the World Day of Youth (A fiatalok világnapja) (12 August) to the Year of Volunteering. The Deputy State Secretariat for Young People also highlighted the importance of social responsibility in voluntary activities as one of the objectives of World Day of Youth.


Information about some relevant financial state support is available in the first chapter (sub-chapter 1.7 Funding youth policy).

Characteristics of youth volunteering

Research report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office

There is only a few information available on youth volunteering. The most recent data comes from the research report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office.

''In the age groups under the age of 35, the participation ratio in voluntary activities is lower than the average; it varies between 24.6% and 33.8%. One of the main reasons behind this is that volunteering during school years and right after finishing school is still not widespread in Hungary; it does not have strong cultural roots. Another reason is that usually at this age making a livelihood and a steady income is more important than volunteering. Additionally, starting a family concerns the same age groups which, again, might prevent from participation in voluntary activities.

Despite the above factors, recent changes are worth mentioning. While in 2011, out of 100 young people aged 15-34, 23 said they had volunteered, this number rose to 29 in 2014. On the one hand, the adoption of the Public Education Act, which states that before graduating from high school 'a 50-hour community service certificate must be obtained' (for definition see sub-chapter 2.1. General Context), on the other hand, the adoption of the National Volunteer Strategy, 'which put the importance of volunteering into the spotlight' might have had contributed to such an increase.'' (HCSO, 2016)

Other research reports on youth volunteering

According to the results of the 'Voluntarism in Hungary 2018' (Önkéntesség Magyarországon 2018) survey, the proportion of young people volunteering has increased slightly: one third of them indicated that they have done volunteer activities in the past year and another tenth per cent said that they had have some experience, if not in the past year, then in the past.

According to the results of the Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020) survey, 8 per cent of young people, aged 15-29, did volunteer activities in the year before the 2020 survey. According to a study from 2023, the low rate was probably due to the pandemic as well as technical and methodological reasons (the different text of the questions and the context in which the volunteering topic was raised in the surveys).

Support to young volunteers

Since there is no youth volunteering strategy or programme, there is currently no dedicated support for youth volunteering.

Target groups

Volunteer Act

There is no standalone law on youth volunteering but the 5th article of the Act LXXXVIII of 2005 on voluntary activities (Volunteer Act) (2005. évi LXXXVIII. törvény) in public interest covers some legal aspects of youth volunteering for young people under the age of 18 and 16.

Those who are under the age of 18 can carry out voluntary activities which correspond to their age, physical, mental and moral maturity and which do not constitute a risk to their health, development and performance of school attendance obligations. There are also restrictions regarding the volunteering hours: they should not pursue public interest volunteer activities between 8 pm and 6 am.

A volunteer under the age of 16 may not carry out public interest volunteer activities abroad. The time spent on public interest volunteer activities is also determined for them. They should not work more than

  • 3 hours per day and 12 hours per week during vacation,
  • 6 hours per week during school time, in details
  • 2 hours per day on school days and
  • 3 hours per day on non-school days.

As it was previously mentioned, the National Volunteer Strategy 2012-2020 (Nemzeti Önkéntes Stratégia 2012-2020) defines young people as individuals between the age of 18 and 26 (however the Hungarian Central Statistical Office in its research report identifies them as individuals under the age of 35).