Draft Law on Introduction of Volunteer Institute may cause Serious Problems to NGOs

On February 27, the regulations envisaged by the Draft Law “On Volunteer Activities and Volunteer Work” and the existing legislation were presented to the representatives of the civil society organizations (CSOs) at the training organized for them.

The training was organized within the framework of EU-funded “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project.

The Project Lawyer Mary Harutyunyan mentioned that one of the positive aspects of the draft is that the costs for compensation of the volunteer work are included in the list of deductible income. The project regulates the issue of coverage of the travel costs for volunteers and compensation for travel costs in accordance with the procedures for reimbursement of travel costs under labor law.

However, the draft also establishes provisions, which, in case of entry into force, will be a serious challenge for the effective use of the volunteer institute. One of them is that the organization can involve volunteers with a ratio of up to 5 per cent of its employees. That is, the organization should have at least 20 volunteers to have the right to involve one volunteer.

“The draft is imperfect, there are a number of gaps and problematic issues, and it is important to be information about them. I got the information that was of interest to our organization,” said Ms Anna Khachaturyan, Human Resources Officer of “Save the Children” NGO said.

Armenuhi Sargsyan, vice-president of the International Women’s Union in Yerevan, who is constantly working with international and local volunteers, also highlighted the awareness of the new amendments to the draft. Make legislative regulations in this area is acceptable, but there are unacceptable provisions in the draft as well.

It should be noted that representatives of 8 civil society organizations participated in the training. Most of them were women and young activists.

The “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by a Consortium of civil society organizations, which are the Armenian Lawyers’ Association (lead organization), Agora Central Europe (NGO based in the Czech Republic), the Armenian Centre for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, the International Centre for Human Development, the SME Cooperation Association and the Union of Communities of Armenia.


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