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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

10. Youth work

10.8 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 November 2023

Forthcoming policy developments

It is possible that new youth policies in BiH could identify the youth work as one of the key topics and there is a possibility for youth organizations to address this topic and the current agreement of three youth councils in BiH could open this perspective.

Ongoing debates

The importance of youth work as a profession in BiH is mainly reflected in the fact that BiH is going through a transition process over twenty years after the war, which, among other things, results in high youth unemployment (46.7%), departure of young people from BiH, radicalization of young people according to religious and ethno-national principles and other phenomena bad for the lives of young people. Due to all these phenomena (and others), it is necessary to strengthen the youth sector in BiH in order to include young people in its activities to better contribute to the challenges of the transition period, and help young people overcome the transition from childhood to adulthood in order for BiH to have at its disposal citizens who carry universal values ​​such as multiculturalism, empathy, peace, social progress, equality and others, which are the values ​​that all cultures carry.

The youth sector in BiH has evolved from a peacemaker to a social factor involved in all important processes concerning young people in BiH, but also more widely through various youth bodies at the regional and European level. So, in the period from the end of the 1990s until today, many youth organizations, youth networks, but also youth councils at all levels of government were established, which became an unavoidable interlocutor for decision makers in BiH when it comes to segments of society important for young people.

An aggravating factor for the further development of the youth sector is the BiH political structure (two entities and BD BiH, and 10 cantons in FBiH), and the lack of youth bodies, as well as a youth policy and strategy at the state level. In addition, there are relatively new challenges for youth organizations, such as migration and the departure of young people from BiH, growing youth radicalism, high youth unemployment and similar.

It is very important that, in addition to foreign donors and the domestic government structure, they dedicate more care to young people through the formation of a state body for youth care, improvement of the political climate in BiH, and necessary changes in the education system in BiH.