Sending Volunteers Overseas 11 Jul 2019


Sending your volunteers overseas can be a hugely enriching experience. It can benefit your organisation which  can provide on the ground support to projects, while the people who go have enriching and often life changing experiences.  However those who run the organisations must be careful to disclose the risks that the volunteers may face. For many, being overseas will involve exposure to new cultures, different standards of living, and different levels of security and safety.


In finalising arrangements for those you select to go overseas, we suggest some points which you may want to consider  include:













It is important that where possible, you give your volunteers adequate training to prepare them for this exciting time. Cultural insights and training for their particular roles will help make the transition easier.  It may be good to consider some language training before and after they go with that as well.


Despite the training that is provided to volunteers, an organisation should make it clear that it cannot take on the responsibility for everything that happens while overseas. Organisations need to be careful to make clear that they are unable to take on the risk against situations like civil unrest, accidents, injuries and sickness. Nor can the oprganisation be expected to

be responsible for events that might arise because a volunteer acted outside the applicable rules and guidelines.


For this reason we encourage organisations to sign a Deed of Release with their volunteers before they embark on their journey. This Deed could acknowledge that the organisation will assist where it can, yet it cannot guarantee the safety of the volunteer.


The Deed can also set out the terms of the nature of the relationship which can be altered to each organisation. This can require the volunteer to seek independent legal and medical advice prior to the trip. Organisations can also use this Deed to cover the use of photos and film for promotional purposes.


If your organisation is needing a Deed of Release, Parry Field Lawyers has created a template which can be altered to meet your needs. Please email one of our team at or and we would be happy to discuss your specific needs.