Today many countries worldwide celebrate the International Volunteer Day. In 1985 the UN has declared 5th of December as an international day of gratitude to the volunteers.
According to the definition of the UN General Assembly, volunteerism is a widely and publicly beneficial activity carried out in accordance with an individual's own free-will and not for financial reward. Today volunteers operate in areas such as social welfare, protection of environment and human rights, humanitarian assistance, healthcare, eradication of poverty, etc.
A significance of volunteerism is underscored by the fact that the General Assembly of the Council of Europe has declared 2001 as the international year of volunteerism and addressed the states with a recommendation "to reveal and eradicate all preventing factors obstructing the development of volunteerism directly or indirectly", and "to grant the volunteers legal status and adequate guarantees of social protection".
Legislation of Georgia does not contain the provisions either fostering or even regulating the volunteerism. Current legislation is not familiar with a status of volunteer and is silent on a volunteer's legal and social guarantees.
The Civil Society Institute has carried out a study on volunteerism. The study examines the necessity to regulate volunteerism and the legal obstacles associated with non-regulation of the field. The Civil Society Institute continues working on the regulation of volunteerism. To this end, it cooperates with non-governmental organizations operating in Georgia and the state authorities. It is planned to develop a draft bill on volunteerism.
The Civil Society Institute believes that the working motivation and force of volunteers can make the publicly beneficial work of organizations more efficient and effective. The organization congratulates volunteers on the International Volunteer Day and extends its gratitude them.