2. Voluntary Activities
Voluntary work in Latvia is regulated by the “Law of Voluntary Work”, which was adopted on June 18, 2015, and entered into force on January 1, 2016. The aim of the law is to promote voluntary work and foster participation of society in voluntary activities.
According to the law:
Volunteering is an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain.
A volunteer is a person who is at least 13 years old. Persons who have reached the age of 13 – 16 have the right to perform voluntary work if their legal representative has given written consent. A minor shall, in his or her free time from studies, perform voluntary work appropriate to his or her age and safe for his or her safety, health and morals, which promotes the development of knowledge, skills, abilities and communication abilities. An employee shall not be replaced by a volunteer.
Voluntary activities can be organised and offered by:
1) associations and foundations, including trade unions and their associations; 2) state and local government institutions; 3) political parties and their associations; 4) social enterprises.
There is a written voluntary work contract foreseen in the “Law of Voluntary Work”
To promote voluntary work and raise interest in volunteering, as well as to celebrate International Volunteer Day every year a special event “Volunteer of the Year” is organised. Every resident of Latvia, a representative of a non-governmental organisation, state or local government institution can nominate candidates, whose volunteering or support was particularly exceptional. Nominations can be submitted on www.brivpratigie.lv. All nominees are evaluated by a jury, which consists of representatives of non-governmental organisations, municipalities and state institutions of Latvia. The jury takes into account the importance of the work carried out and its contribution to the society or someone's life, the skills acquired and their application, the amount or regularity of volunteering and other factors. Volunteers, volunteer-friendly non-governmental organisations and local governments all over Latvia are honoured. The nominees then are invited to the event that takes place in Riga in early December.