At Seliger forum some NGOs call for law on volunteering

Moscow, 25.07.2014

At the Seliger camp some NGO representatives again called for a law on volunteering, which has been suggested before but does not have the support of all volunteering organisations. People speaking at the forum said it was unacceptable to have volunteers interfering is some sectors of activity.

The Chairman of the Russian Rescue Union Sergei Shchetinin supports the idea of such a law. He considers it essential to restrict the “activities” of volunteers in Russia, as was reported on He said at a round table at the Seliger forum that volunteers should not be allowed to interfere in certain areas of activity. He called for a single register of volunteering organisations so that it can easily be seen how many such organisations there are, where they are and what they are doing.

Galina Bodrenkova, President of the Russian Volunteering  Centre also supports having a law on volunteering.  She said that it is important for the state to regulate volunteering so that for example, someone who has volunteered in a hospital for a certain time can get a grant to study at medical school. She also thought that financial support for infrastructure for volunteering is necessary, along with a system of registering volunteers’ work in the service of the state.

Earlier, the  new members of the Public Chamber, at a meeting with President Putin, reacted very cautiously to the suggestion of a law on volunteering. Members said that volunteering comes from the heart, the soul, and should not be regulated excessively. But, as Putin agreed, it is worth thinking about.

A law on volunteering has been under discussion for several years. Most NGOs working with volunteers are strongly against legal regulation by the state, and they have tried hard to head off the adoption of such a law.

Author: Georgy Ivanushkin

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