soteria_warsaw_2014Synthesis of the voluntary work side event OSCE – HDIM – 2014

Voluntary work in spiritual environments and its criminalization in modern society

During our side event regarding the voluntary work, in which we wanted to find out if is the judicial system misused to persecute spiritual movements through their voluntary work, we started by clarifying some questions:

Why people do voluntary work?

As easily understood and interpreted in society, voluntary work starts mainly from the desire to help other people.

Voluntary work has existed in all societies and all times. Recently it has been studied across Europe, including in Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK.

A study conducted by van Hal (in 2004), showed that ‘social responsibility’ and ‘helping others’ were important motivations for volunteers.

Also, many volunteers are motivated by the opportunity to meet new people and build social networks, which can be seen as a strong social support networks help to combat social isolation and marginalization.


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