Commission for Coordination of Youth Issues at the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament submitted today, 2 June 2012, the Draft Law on Volunteering of FBiH for parliamentary consideration.
Note that at the present time there is no state-level legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in the RS the legislation has existed since 2008.
In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the need for social recognition of volunteering has been perceived, as well as the need for regulating the issue of volunteering in accordance with the EU principles and regulations, for there is still a significant gap between practice and normative state according to which volunteering exists and is tolerated in practice but it has not been legally defined. Having said all this, the Institute for Youth Development KULT is pursuing its efforts to support the passing of the Law on Volunteering of FBiH through partnership cooperation with the Commission for Coordination of Youth Issues at the House of Representatives of FBiH. The Law on Volunteering of FBiH has emerged as a very important document relying not only on the neighbouring countries but on the EU countries as well. There was a tendency to incorporate into the Draft Law all those provisions which are deemed important under the European Union laws, but which also serve to address certain issues in BiH. Recognition of volunteering as work experience is of great importance. This is because employers in our country often insist on work experience records thus young people are unemployed and do not have a chance to get a job, therefore this Law will enable young people to gain work experience through volunteering so that it could be recognised upon their first employment.
The Draft Law on Volunteering of FBiH was submitted for parliamentary consideration on 5 December 2011, which is celebrated as the International Volunteer Day. The Parliament adopted the Draft Law on Volunteering on 20 March, 2012. Consequently, the Parliamentary delegates voted for the Draft Law and according to the voting results 72 votes were in favour, 3 abstentions from voting and there were no votes against. A great number of the Parliamentary delegates expressed their satisfaction with the initiative and the text of the Draft. Following the adoption of the Draft Law, public hearings on the Draft Law on Volunteering of FBiH were held in Biha?, Tomislavgrad, Ĺ iroki Brijeg, Mostar, GoraĹľde, Domaljevac, Tuzla, Zenica, Travnik and Sarajevo due to ensuring the transparency of decision making processes and giving the opportunity to all those affected by this Law to take part in its creation. Over 400 participants attended the public hearings among which there were representatives of the NGO sector, cantonal assemblies, cantonal parliamentary commissions for youth affairs, international organisations and the citizens who showed interest in the details. All suggestions concerning amendments and changes to the Draft Law, which were gathered in the course of holding the public hearings, will be discussed and taken into consideration upon developing the final version of the Law, which is expected to be submitted soon to the Parliament for its final approval. We believe that with their vote in favour of the Law, the decision makers will give a concrete incentive for the development of volunteering and verify volunteers’ community service involvement.