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O2E Volunteer Code of Conduct

The O2E Code of Conduct sets out the standards of behaviour that are expected of O2E volunteers, not only by O2E as a volunteer placement organisation, but also by in-country staff, home stay families and providers of accommodation, project hosts and the service providers that we work with.

O2E is fully committed to ethical volunteer travel in the interests of animals and conservation and sustainable tourism. The Volunteer Code of Conduct is designed to help you get the most out of your project stay in a safe manner. Some of the countries you may visit have very different laws, illnesses and customs to your own. The Volunteer Code of Conduct aims to help reduce any risk to yourself and others. It also ensures that the organisations and people we work with are treated with respect and that consideration is given to other cultural aspects during your project.

Please note that O2E retains the right to terminate your project placement without compensation if the volunteer breaches the Volunteer Code of Conduct or displays persistent behaviour in a manner which is, in the view of O2E, their project partners or service providers, incompatible with the spirit of the project.

You should consider at all times that you are a representative not only of yourself, but of your country and of O2E.

The Code is separated into four sections:

  •  At the project
  •  General
  •  Animals
  •  Accommodation


At the Project
At the project, you agree to:

  • Familiarise yourself with, and abide by all the rules of the project at which you are volunteering.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and behaviour throughout your project.
  • Act as a conscientious member of the project team. You are relied on as a dedicated member of staff.
  • Not accept payment of any kind for the work that you are doing.
  • Work hard to achieve your own personal goals and those of the project and the organisation that you are contributing.
  • Listen to, and follow the instructions of your volunteer co-ordinator/ supervisor / contact at the project in addition to O2E staff.
  • Inform your volunteer co-ordinator/ supervisor / contact at the project if you are at any time unable to fulfil the duties to which you have committed.
  • Treat with care all of the materials and equipment that you utilise during your placement.
  • Adhere to curfews set by the project host.
  • Not fraternise inappropriately with project staff or other volunteers.
  • Adhere to rules regarding the consumption of alcohol. Drugs are strictly forbidden.
  • Do not litter.


At your accomodation, you agree to:

  •  Respect local custom and abide by the rules of the accommodation in which you are staying.
  •  Check with either the home stay family or the owner of the accommodation before inviting anybody to the home or your room.
  •  Be aware that overnight visitors are not allowed.
  •  Respect the accommodation you are using and pay for any damage you may cause to the property.
  •  Keep your room and communal spaces clean and tidy.
  •  Not smoke in your accommodation unless the owner or project host allows. Always stay within the authorised smoking zones.
  •  Stay at the accommodation allocated to you. You should not make your own accommodation arrangement for security reasons.
  •  Settle any outstanding bills before leaving the accommodation.
  •  Be aware that there will be no refunds for food/accommodation if you decide to take a tour or leave the project early.


While volunteering, you agree to:

  •  Adhere to the O2E Wildlife Code. This can be found on our website.
  •  Become accustomed to and adhere to the rules of the project in relation to the animals and your conduct. Not adhering to these rules can result in serious injury.
  •  Do not behave in a way that puts the animals at risk or injury.
  •  Do not behave in a way that aggravates or ridicules the animals.


During the project, you agree to:

  •  Be aware of potentially different attitudes towards sexual relationships in the country in  which you are volunteering and the effect that any such relationships may have on individuals and the local community.
  •  A zero tolerance policy towards the possession and use of illegal substances. If you are found in possession of, or are under the influence of such substances, you will have your project contract terminated immediately.
  •  Represent O2E and your country of origin in an ethical and responsible manner.
  •  Listen to, and follow the advice or requests of O2E staff, project staff and service providers.
  •  Be responsible for making full payment for any damage or loss caused by you during your project. Payment must be paid direct at the time to the service provider concerned, failing this you will be responsible and liable for meeting any claims subsequently made against us (including full legal costs of all involved parties) as a result of your actions.
  •  Act in such a way as not to put you, other volunteers, animals, staff, or the local population at risk, or to jeopardise the work of O2E or their project partners in the communities in which they work.
  •  Respect the decisions and authority of O2E staff and partners in all matters pertaining to the project, health and safety and the local population, and agree to follow any training and advice given.
  •  Adhere to O2E’s Ethical Standards. This can be found on our website.
  •  Treat all people with respect and dignity.
  •  Dress culturally appropriately at all times.
  •  Never take pictures of the local people without asking their permission.
  •  Not engage in illegal activities.
  •  Understand that the project and accommodation booked and provided is non-changeable in country without the prior approval of O2E and the project host.
  •  Keep project staff informed of your plans about trips and weekends.
  •  Please do not purchase, collect or remove any animal products, rocks, plants, seeds or birds’ nests from the wild, or alter the environment in any way.
  • Never call the O2E Emergency phone unless it is an emergency.


Read more by downloading the PDF

O2E as a Responsible
Travel Organisation

O2E Responsible Travel

Download O2E
PDF Brochure

Download O2E PDF Brochure

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