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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

4. Social Inclusion

4.6 Access to quality services

Last update: 21 February 2024

(i) housing

Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees - BiH Project within the Regional Housing Program

As part of efforts to find lasting and sustainable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons in the country and the region, BiH has established close cooperation with the governments of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Given the large number of displaced people in the region who remained because of the armed conflicts of the 1990s and with a view to resolving the refugee population throughout the region, BiH is fully committed to the successful implementation of the Joint Program. A lasting solution for refugees and displaced persons will contribute to a crucial act of deepening good neighbourly relations and stability in the region.

BD has adopted a program to subsidize part of the interest for the purchase of the first property

The BD Government has adopted the Proposal of the Decision on the adoption of the Program of subsidizing part of the interest for the purchase of the first real estate for solving the housing problem on the BD territory. The right to use the interest subsidy may be exercised by natural persons who have a residence in the BD territory and who used the loan to purchase the first real estate to solve the housing problem in the BD territory.

The Ministry of Communal Economy, Infrastructure, Physical Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection of Sarajevo Canton announces - Public call to subsidise youth housing

The FBiH Government approved 15 million KM from the Budget for a favourable credit housing line intended for young people. The funds will be used to provide a credit line for young people to address housing issues, and have been granted to Union Bank on a credit basis with a maturity period of 25 years and a fixed interest rate of 0.1 percent annually.

Pursuant to Article 54, paragraph 1 of the Law on Youth Organization (RS Official Gazette, No. 98/04, 119/08 and 1/12), Article 82, paragraph 2 of the Law on Republic Administration (RS Official Gazette, No. 118/08, 11/09, 74/10, 86/10 and 24/12), and in accordance with the RS Youth Policy 2010 - 2015 (RS Official Gazette, No. 105/09), the RS Minister of Family, Youth and Sports adopted:

Rulebook on Subsidization of Interest Rate on Housing Loans for young People and Young Married Couples

Article 1

This Rulebook determines the criteria for the distribution of funds from the Budget of the RS Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports for the selection of beneficiaries of interest rate subsidies on housing loans for young people and young married couples.

(ii) social services

Public Institution Centre for Social Work Sarajevo - The professional goal of every employee of the Centre is to achieve the best possible quality of work, and quality and successful provision of services and protection to its users, and thus address social needs. Providing forms and services of family law and social protection, regulating many material benefits, the Centre also provides many intangible services. In the field of intangible services, the procedures were very complex and presupposed specialized services of social, psychological, pedagogical and legal work. During its professional work and provision of services, assistance and protection to its users, the Centre uses a multidisciplinary and multimethod approach that includes individual work, group social work and work with the family, and if necessary, psychotherapeutic work.

UNICEF - Social protection

The main challenges for social services are decentralization, accountability, standards and funding. Despite the relatively high expenditures of the PDP (Call for Proposals) on social protection in BiH, funding is not well targeted, and there is scope for improving efficiency in child protection and poverty prevention and alleviation programs. In addition, the potential for cash transfers cannot be realized due to limited coverage of the poor. Also, transfer values are too low to make a real difference in the lives of users.

Social Inclusion Strategy of BD 2021-2027


The rights and obligations of young people, youth organization, youth care, institutional participation of young people in decision-making and other issues of interest to the life, position and activities of young people in BD are regulated by the 2017 Youth Law. This is especially important bearing in mind that the Law regulates the promotion of individual and social development of young people and the prevention of their possible neglect; implementing policies that address negative trends for young people; maintaining and creating positive living conditions for young people, as well as an environment that is pleasant for young people; and protecting young people from the dangers of their age to which they may be exposed. The Law envisions the adoption of the BD Youth Policy, which is still being drafted. However, on the other hand, the BD Youth Council was established, which conducted two types of research on issues and needs of young people in BD. The first research is conducted for the needs of the organization of the Conference within the BD Youth Meeting 2019, i.e., the development of the Action Plan (not adopted) and the second for the development of the BD Youth Policy 2021-2025 (under development). During the sampling, the criteria of certain demographic characteristics important for comparing the results were respected, so that the sample consists of approximately equal number of women and men and an adequate number of young people living in urban and suburban areas of BD BiH. The total number of 386 young people under the age of 30 was sampled.

RS Social Inclusion Strategy 2021-2027

3.4.1 Protection of children and youth

Children and youth are the most important resource for the RS development. Faced with a continuous decline in their share in the total population, RS is taking a number of measures at the Republic and local levels aimed at stopping these processes and redirecting them towards positive outcomes. In the past ten years, the RS government has adopted several policies concerning the issues and position of children, youth and families with children. The following policies were adopted: Family Policy, Policy and Program for Improving Early Growth and Development of Children, Youth Health Policy and Policy for Improving the Social Position of Persons with Disabilities, Development of Education Policy, Policy for the Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Policy for Combating Domestic Violence, Policy for Improving Social Protection of Children without Parental Care, Youth Policy, etc. Also, several laws and bylaws were adopted, which institutionally regulate certain areas, creating a realistic basis for initiating a comprehensive population renewal in RS. Despite the policies adopted and measures implemented, the social position of these groups is still fraught with social issues. Situational analysis developed during the preparation of the policies speak of a worrying process of intensification of social issues/risks faced by children, youth and families with children in RS.

FBiH Social Inclusion Strategy 2021-2027

5. Youth

Young people are valuable social capital, resource, representatives of the desirable future, bearers of dominant social values ​​that are passed down from generation to generation, and it is necessary to ensure conditions for their optimal social development. According to the 2013 Census, young people in FBiH makes up 21.5% of the total population. Out of the total male population, young people participate with 22.5%, and among the female population with 20.6%. The basic role of youth policy is the social integration of young people in taking on social roles, while creating freedom of preferences, choosing creative approaches and strengthening their active role. The World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY), endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1995 and revised and supplemented in 2007, provides a framework and guidelines for improving the situation of young people. At the BiH level, there is no law regulating general youth issues or an “umbrella” youth body, nor there is a policy written and adopted dealing with youth issues at the state level. A significant step was taken in 2004 when the Commission for Coordination of Youth Issues in BiH was established as a permanent body of the BiH Council of Ministers. The Commission operates within the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs and is responsible for coordinating the activities of all actors relevant to the promotion and protection of the role and position of BiH youth. The focus on BiH youth is also highlighted by the Action Plan for the Implementation of BiH's EU Accession Priorities, which envisages the measure "Urgently implement active employment measures to address high unemployment, especially youth unemployment, and provide effective support to job seekers." FBiH adopted the Youth Law in 2010, which regulates issues that are important for the status, existence and activities of young people, and tries to institutionalize care for young people and to address youth issues in an organized and systematic manner. The FBiH Ministry of Culture and Sports is responsible for youth issues, within which a Youth Department operates.

At the end of 2015, the FBiH Youth Council was established as a free, voluntary, non-partisan, non-governmental and non-profit youth organization. The FBiH Youth Council has the right and obligation to legitimately represent the interests of the cantonal youth councils, which established it, at all levels of government. The FBiH Youth Council is established within the Youth Council. Although the Youth Law provided for the mandatory development and adoption of youth policies for all levels of government, no youth policy has been developed in FBiH. The FBiH Government has started the process of drafting the Youth Policy in 2013. The initiative to start the process of drafting and adopting the Youth Policy 2021-2025 regained the support of the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament at the end of 2019. However, the issue of drafting the Youth Policy itself has remained unresolved.

In 2023, the RS Government adopted the RS Youth Policy for the period 2023 - 2027. The RS Youth Policy 2023 - 2027 defined four strategic goals with a total of 15 priorities and 44 measures, and three strategic projects. Funds in the total amount of 266,389,000 KM have been planned for the implementation of Policy. 

Based on the defined strategic focuses and the proposed development vision, the following strategic objectives have been established:

  • Improve opportunities and the interest of young people for a better life (sustainable stay and return) in RS

  • Encourage the initiative and responsible action of young people in the community

  • Promote the development of healthy lifestyles among young people and responsible attitudes towards the environment
  • Promote excellence and role model creation among young people.

(iii) health care

The health care system in BiH: the state and directions of possible reforms

According to the constitutional solutions, the field of health is in the competence of the entities (RS), divided competence of the entities and cantons (Federation of BiH) and in the competence of BD. Thus, three health care laws and three health insurance laws are currently in force in BiH. The provisions of these regulations are largely harmonized, although there are parts that differ significantly. In FBiH, there is currently the FBiH Ministry of Health and ten cantonal ministries of health, as well as the FBiH Health Insurance and Reinsurance Institute and 10 cantonal health insurance institutes. RS has the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Health Insurance Fund, and in BD there is the Department of Health and Other Services within the BD Government, and the BD Health Insurance Fund. At the entity level, health accreditation agencies have been established, namely the Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Health in FBiH and the Agency for Certification, Accreditation and Improving the Quality of Health Care in RS. Among the institutions at the level of BiH, it is important to single out only the Department of Health at the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs. When it comes to regulations, the most important regulation applied throughout BiH is the BiH Law on Medicines and Medical Devices.

Although health care in BiH is formally based on the principles of solidarity, comprehensiveness, continuity, efficiency, accessibility and comprehensive access, it is evident that the possibility of access to health care services, as well as their quality are not the same across BiH. Health care activities are performed at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care. A special form of protection of the health of the population is realized through the organization of public health. The tasks between primary, secondary and tertiary health care are divided depending on the tasks, complexity of medical procedures, specialties of health care workers and health care professionals, equipment, and specifics of certain areas within the country, and are more specifically regulated by entity and BD laws. These laws, as well as bylaws in the entities, BD and the cantons in FBiH, generally define all the health care rights that citizens may exercise. However, the exercise of these rights alone is significantly hampered by those living outside large medical centres in BiH (Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar). Namely, in some cantons in FBiH, as well as in some regions in RS, and in BD, health institutions do not have the logistical or personnel conditions to provide the inhabitants of those areas with an appropriate level of health care. Therefore, the inhabitants of these areas are forced to use health services in very remote centres. This, in turn, is often related to the complicated administrative procedure regulated by the Agreement on the method and procedure of using health care services by insured persons in BiH, outside the Entity or BD where the insured persons reside, and the Agreement on the method and procedure of using health care outside the area of ​​the cantonal health insurance institutes where the insured persons reside. This procedure implies obtaining a special consent of the competent medical commission at the health insurance institution where the insured person resides for treatment in the territory of another entity, i.e. canton. Also, the issue of personal participation in health care costs is regulated in different ways by entity, cantonal, or bylaws at the level of BD. In some cantons in FBiH, insured persons have the option to avoid paying personal contributions by paying an annual premium to the competent health insurance institution, while in other parts of the country such a possibility does not exist.

Department of Health - BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs

The Department for Health of the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs consists of Statistical Analytical Affairs and Reporting and European Integration and International Cooperation Units.

According to Article 15 of the Law on Ministries and Other Administrative Bodies of BiH ("Official Gazette of BiH" No. 5/03, 42/03, 26/04, 42/04, 45/06 and 88/07, 35/09, 103 / 09, 87/12, 6/13 and 19/16) The BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs is responsible, in the field of health, for carrying out tasks and discharging duties which are within the competence of BiH and relate to defining basic principles, co-ordinating activities and harmonising plans of the Entity authorities and defining a strategy  at the international level.

Special Report Child HealthCare in BiH

4.1.3. FBiH Public Health Institute

The FBiH Public Health Institute (hereinafter: PHI) is a health institution for performing public health activities in FBiH. This institution also proposes the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases, Children are exempt from paying co-payments for treatment abroad in institutions with which the FBiH Health Insurance and Reinsurance Institute has a contract.

4.1.7. Department of Health and Other Services of BD BiH

The Department for Health and Other Services of the BD BiH performs professional, administrative and other duties within the competence of the Government related to the implementation of laws and regulations of competent institutions of BiH and BD in the field of health and other services under the supervision and instructions of the mayor.

The jurisdiction of this department in accordance with the law and regulations of BiH, the Assembly or by order of the head are:

protecting the health of the population and the functioning of health institutions in BD; social assistance and social protection of citizens, especially the elderly, mentally and physically disabled, as well as marriage, family and children, planning of actions in case of endangering the health of citizens, as well as public health enterprises and other affairs.

4.1.4. RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

The analysis of the exercise of the right to health care for children in RS is based on information obtained from the RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and includes information on equality of treatment rights at the RS entity level. Providing psychosocial support to children in RS: According to the RS Law on Ministries, the RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare performs administrative and other professional tasks related to preserving and improving the health care of citizens and monitoring the health care status and health care needs of the population; health care system; organization of health care in all conditions; professional training and specialization of health care workers; health care inspection; organization of supervision over the professional work of health care institutions; health care insurance and health care insurance from public revenues; production and trade of medicines, poisons and narcotics, medical equipment and medical devices; health safety of water, foodstuffs and items of general use; sanitary inspection, social protection system; social care for family and children; activity of social organizations and associations of citizens in the social-humanitarian field; providing information through the media and other forms of information about its work; performs other tasks in accordance with the Law and other regulations of RS and BiH.

(iv) financial services

Young people in BiH find it difficult to buy an apartment without a loan

Young people in BiH mostly take out loans that are  with high interest rates in BiH to buy apartments and become independent, while apartment prices are rising.

At the official website of the Ministry of Communal Economy, Infrastructure, Physical Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection of the Sarajevo Canton, a public call has been published for young people to buy an apartment at a lower price than the market price. This is made possible by the model of pre-investment in incentive housing, which has been implemented by the Government of Sarajevo Canton since 2022, with the aim of helping young people solve their housing issues. Persons with residence in the Sarajevo Canton, aged 18 to 38, who have not resolved their housing issue will be able to apply for the public call.

Quality assurance

Measuring the satisfaction of public administration users in BiH

1. Purpose and goal of the research:

Customer satisfaction surveys are conducted to provide information on the extent to which the quality of public administration work meets the needs of users. Thus, the research is used as a tool to examine the strengths and weaknesses of public administration bodies and identify areas that need to be developed and improved. However, the purpose of this research is much broader because research results can also be used for research - the extent to which research results are used in political and business decision making, research and education, and media communication. The results of such an analysis can then be used by public authorities to formulate actions that could be taken to improve and promote their work.

Results of the Survey on Customer Satisfaction with Services Provided by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of BiH - Information Service

The aim of the online questionnaire is to examine the satisfaction of primary users, the media, communication with the Information Service of the BiH Council of Ministers, as well as satisfaction with the work and services provided by the Information Service during the Covida-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted online and anonymously via the Google Forms platform between July 26, 2021 and August 20, 2021. A response of 28.89% was recorded, which is a significant jump in user interest compared to the previous survey from 2018 (11%).