Voluntary work refers to the carrying out of socially beneficial work without remuneration. It is one of the most direct, attainable, and diverse forms of civic participation.

In Estonia, voluntary work is not regulated by a specific legal act. However, certain forms of volunteering are mentioned in different laws. For example:

  • the Assistant Police Officer Act regulates the activities of a person who, on a voluntary basis, participates in their own spare time in the activity of the police
  • the Rescue Act regulates the activities of voluntary rescuers
  • the Victim Support Act regulates the involvement of victim support volunteers in the provision of support services

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund also coordinates options for volunteering. The Fund has a number of volunteering partners, which include non-governmental organisations, museums, libraries and others. The Unemployment Insurance Fund provides commuting and accommodation compensation and a grant to people who are registered as unemployed and do voluntary work, based on correct documentation of participation.

Volunteering & Human Rights

Depending on the nature of the voluntary work that you are carrying out, several of your human rights may be affected, such as the prohibition of discrimination, the right to life or the prohibition of forced labour.

About this section

This section of the Guide will explain your rights and obligations as a volunteer, as well as how to complain if your rights as a volunteer are violated.


Last updated 08/04/2023