There is no legal framework defining the respective rights and responsibilities of volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations at the State level.
BiH Ministry of Justice proposed 3 times a law on volunteering with the expert assistance and consultations from the relevant CSOs, but it hasn’t been adopted. The main reason is the lack of political effort from the members of the State Parliament from the Republika Srpska to adopt laws and strategies at the State level for areas that they consider to be under Entity’ jurisdiction. Since the jurisdiction over volunteering is not clearly prescribed, there is still no political effort for this Law to be adopted.
Last progress at the FBiH level has been made in 2012 when the Law on volunteering was adopted. Volunteers from the Federation of BiH have been provided with the legal solution according to which volunteering undertaken in their professional fields will be recognized as work experience. CSOs generally questioned the justification of this rule. The Law on Volunteering can by no means derogate the laws governing labor relations, which make it unenforceable.
In the RS, there were no changes from the adoption of the law on Volunteering in late October 2013, after many years of CSO proposing it. The law regulates the principles of volunteering and describes the rights and obligations of both volunteers and host organizations. In accordance with recommendations of the Council of Europe, the law does not recognize and does not support volunteering as primary tool for solving of unemployment problem, as it can lead to exploitation of volunteers as free labor. The law on Volunteering also defines unique volunteer’s Identification Document for all volunteers where any volunteer work can be evaluated and officially recorded. It also regulates corporate governance and is generally considered better than the FBiH law among the civil sector. In addition, in 2018 the law on Volunteering was adopted in Brčko District. In Federation BiH the responsible institution for implementation of the law on Volunteering is Ministry of Justice FBiH while in Republika Srpska it is Voluntary Service RS. There are no any special incentives for employment of volunteers.
0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment
In practice, the law implementation has the same obstacles as in FBiH – volunteers do not sign contracts and do not insist on signing the practice volunteer’s contract. The solution is offered by CSOs that manage voluntary services, such as the OKC Banja Luka who organizes volunteering.