International Association for Volunteer Effort
Adopted at a January 16, 2001 Board of Directors meeting

The Universal Declaration on Volunteering

Volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of humankind--the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety, and justice for all people.

In this era of globalization and continuous change, the world is becoming smaller, more interdependent, and more complex. Volunteering--either through individual or group action--is a way in which:

At the dawn of the new millennium, volunteering is an essential element of all societies. It turns into practical, effective action the declaration of the United Nations that "We, the Peoples" have the power to change the world.

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This Declaration supports the right of every woman, man and child to associate freely and to volunteer regardless of their cultural and ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, and physical, social or economic condition. All people in the world should have the right to freely offer their time, talent, and energy to others and to their communities through individual and collective action, without expectation of financial reward.

We seek the development of volunteering that:

We believe that volunteers and the organizations and communities that they serve have a shared responsibility to:

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Taking into account basic human rights as expressed in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the principles of volunteering and the responsibilities of volunteers and the organizations in which they are involved, we call on:

All volunteers to proclaim their belief in volunteer action as a creative and mediating force that:

The leaders of:

The United Nations to:

IAVE challenges volunteers and leaders of all sectors throughout the world to unite as partners to promote and support effective volunteering, accessible to all, as a symbol of solidarity among all peoples and nations. IAVE invites the global volunteer community to study, discuss, endorse and bring into being this Universal Declaration on Volunteering.

Adopted by the international board of directors of IAVE--The International Association for Volunteer Effort at its 16th World Volunteer Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 2001, the International Year of Volunteers.

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