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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.3 National strategy on youth volunteering

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Existence of a National Strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority
  4. Revisions/ Updates

Existence of a National Strategy

There is no national strategy on youth volunteering or volunteering in general in Iceland.

Volunteering is, however, embroidered in Icelandic culture and many NGOs rely on voluntary work as part of their operations. Volunteering is addressed in Icelandic law but only in a narrow way in the context of a specific regulation. For example, regulation no. 1224/2015 (only in Icelandic) on the use of volunteers through a contract made with an NGO or a non-profit organization. This regulation states that a volunteer cannot be used in a commercial setting where otherwise a staff member would have been hired.

According to this, an unemployed person can become a volunteer for a period of time without losing their benefits. However, any individual going this route will need to be able to accept a job should it become available during this time.

The Erasmus+ youth programme has regulations that cover youth volunteering. The main principal is that volunteers cannot take responsibilities or routine tasks that would normally be carried out by paid employees. The volunteer must not carry out high-responsibility tasks alone or unsupervised.

There is an on-going debate in Iceland about youth policy which covers, in part, the youth volunteering sector.

Scope and contents

Does not apply. 

Responsible authority

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. 

Revisions/ Updates

Does not apply.