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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.2 National youth law

Last update: 17 May 2024

Existence of a national youth law

BiH does not have a national youth law. The RS Law on Youth Organization 2004, the FBiH Youth Law 2020 and the BD Youth Law 2017  define the youth policy framework in BiH. 

Scope and contents

The goals and scope of the Law on Youth in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) are:

  • Creating and implementing youth policies at all levels of government in FBiH, through a cross-sectoral approach and taking into account the needs, demands, and interests of youth.

  • Establishing criteria in line with European principles in the work of public administrations when implementing youth policies.

  • Determining and defining measures and recommendations regarding youth work and youth activities.

  • Strengthening the participation and inclusion of youth and their information at all levels of decision-making in the Federation through structured participation mechanisms.

  • Enhancing youth volunteerism and their voluntary engagement in activities related to youth issues.

  • Implementing principles of non-discrimination, solidarity, and ethics in all activities related to youth issues.

  • Strengthening the human, technical, and administrative capacities of youth associations.

The goals of the RS Law on Youth Organization are:

  • Encouraging systematic improvement and development of youth organization and youth policy with active youth participation.

  • Mobilizing youth.

  • Affirmation of youth activities.

  • Advocacy for the interests and rights of youth.

  • Promoting youth participation in decision-making processes.

The goals of the Law on Youth in Brčko District (BD) are the same as the goals of the Law on Youth Organization in RS. The Law on Youth in BD ensures the right of youth to support and improve their development without discrimination on any grounds through:

  • Improving the individual and social development of youth and preventing their possible neglect.

  • Implementing policies that act against negative trends affecting youth.

  • Maintaining and creating positive living conditions for youth, as well as a youth-friendly environment.

  • Protecting youth from dangers characteristic of their age group to which they may be exposed.


The RS Law on Youth Organization had two revisions. First revision was in 2008  and the second one in 2011.

The Law on Amendments to the RS Law on Youth Organization in 2011 introduces several key changes. It redefines the concept of youth as individuals aged 15 to 30 years old and expands the concept of youth policy to include documents aimed at improving the status of young people and addressing their issues. This policy specifies the objectives of programs, mechanisms, deadlines, responsible institutions, partners, necessary financial resources, and sources, all in line with areas of interest to young people. Youth organizations are further defined as various forms of youth associations based on principles such as territorial, professional, interest-based, etc., and include organizations for young people significantly focused on youth or issues relevant to them.

Furthermore, the amendments clarify the terminology used in the law, with specifications on youth activities, youth work, youth facilities, youth centers, youth events, informal youth education, and international youth cooperation. The law provides for the establishment of youth policy for a period of five years at the RS and local levels, with annual action plans adopted based on approved youth policy. Action plans must be adopted within 30 days of approving the annual budget. Changes also include modifying language regarding anti-discrimination to include disability alongside gender, and changing administrative levels at which youth policy is applied and action plans are made.

These amendments are designed to enhance the framework and support for youth activities, informal education, and international cooperation, and to promote the personal and social development of young people in RS.

The FBiH Youth Law and the BD Youth Law have not undergone any revisions.