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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

5. Participation

5.3 Youth representation bodies

Last update: 28 November 2023

Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have national youth representation bodies beside the Commission for Coordination of Youth Issues in BiH.

Youth parliament

There is no youth parliament in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Youth councils and/or youth advisory boards

BiH has three mayor youth councils: the RS Youth Council level, serving as an umbrella representative body, which is legally defined under the RS Law on Youth Organization since 2004. The FBiH Youth Council is established in December 2015 after the six Cantonal Youth Councils have been established in FBiH during 2014-2015, and the BD Youth Council is established in 2018.

At the RS level, there is the Youth Council composed of several members of the RS Government, the RS Youth Council and representatives of the Committee for Youth Affairs of the RS People's Assembly.

  • Structure

The FBiH Youth Council is a youth umbrella organization in FBiH. As an umbrella organization, the Youth Council was established under the FBiH Law on Youth by six cantonal youth councils.

The RS Youth Council is an umbrella youth organization in RS, whose position and role are defined by the Law on Youth Organization, adopted by the RS National Assembly in 2004.

The BD Youth Council is an umbrella organization of youth organizations in BD established under the BD Youth Law.

  • Composition

The FBiH Youth Council consists of the six cantonal youth councils: youth councils of Tuzla, Sarajevo, Una-Sana, West Herzegovina, Central Bosnia and Posavina cantons.

As an umbrella youth organization, the RS Youth Council of brings together local and youth organizations at the RS level in its membership with the aim of representing and presenting their interests to the RS institutions, in international cooperation, and similar.

The BD Youth Council is an umbrella organization composed of ten youth organizations in BD.

  • Role and responsibilities

The FBiH Youth Council is a non-governmental organization that legitimately represents and represents the interests of its members / founders at all levels of government. In addition to the member / founder, the Youth Council also represents the interests of all young people, youth organizations and organizations working with young people in the way of youth policies and affect the development and wellbeing of youth in FBiH. This Council is engaged in the implementation of joint projects of young people in FBiH, membership and participation, or representation of youth issues at a higher level, builds dialogue with the institutions of government to improve the position of young people and build partnerships and co-operate internationally.

The RS Youth Council of was granted the status of an association of public interest based on spatial (territorial) and cultural action, multi-ethnic structure and long-term work aimed at meeting the needs of young people in the social-humanitarian field.

The BD Youth Council aims to: encourage youth involvement in the social life of the community, strengthen cooperation between the Council and the institutions of government, promote youth work and youth work in general, popularize and disseminate awareness of the importance of youth work and youth access, improve the living conditions of young people in BD, documents and operational programs in the field of youth work, collaborate with other youth councils, both at lower and higher levels of government.

  • Funding

The FBiH Budget has one budget line dedicated to the youth called “Youth Grant” and managed by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport, in support to youth organizations and financing the FBiH Youth Council.

The RS Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports finances the youth organizations and programs for young people in RS, including the RS Youth Council.

The BD Youth Council is funded by the BD Government through its Department for expert and administrative affairs.

Higher education student union(s)

Please indicate if there is a body representing the interests of tertiary education students in your country. NO.

School student union(s)

The Law on Secondary Education was enacted in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004, which gave students the opportunity to become organized into councils, and therefore affect processes in education.

The BiH Network of Student Councils has been operational since 2011 and actively advocates equal opportunities for all high school students.

  • Structure

The BiH Network of Student Councils is a unified body of all student councils in BiH advocating the existence and efficient functioning of student councils in all secondary schools at the state level. This body is made up of councils of student councils throughout BiH, which together represent a cluster of activisms in BiH.

  • Composition

The BiH Network of Student Councils is composed of the Council of the Students of the FBiH Cantons (mreVUK), which is a common name for student council networks in the cantons of the FBiH, and the RS Council of Student Councils, a joint body of student councils of all 88 secondary schools in RS.

  • Role and responsibilities

The BiH Network of Student Councils is a unified body of all student councils in BiH advocating the existence and efficient functioning of student councils in all secondary schools at the state level.

  • Funding

No information of sources of funding.

Other bodies

 The BiH Association of High School Students (ASuBiH) is an organization that gathers every secondary school student, together with each school student council in BiH. Its aim is to improve the status of secondary school students through the promotion of their rights.

  • Top-level legal framework for establishment

ASuBiH is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-political organization whose main goal is to improve the status of high school students in the country and gather all young people attending high school in BiH.

ASuBiH was established on November 4, 2007 at the founding General Assembly in Sarajevo, with the support of over 250 high school students, representatives of their local communities from all over BiH. The initiative for the establishment of this organization, in addition to the high school students themselves, was initiated by the German Schuler Helfen Leben Foundation (SHL), which is also the general donor of ASuBiH.

  • Roles and responsibilities

Increase the inclusion of high school students in the decision-making process that improves their status in society through learning about the rights of high school students and representing the ideas of all high school students in BiH that contribute to improving their lives in the community.

  • Powers, impact and output

Implemented 364 activities in 2018 and had 164 media reports on their activities.

  • Overseeing body (if any)

The General Assembly is the highest body of ASuBiH. It consists of formal representatives of all student councils in BiH (one representative per school). ASuBiH also has a Management Board composed of ten elected representatives.

  • Budget and funding sources

ASuBiH was launched by the German foundation Schuler Helfen Leben (SHL), which is also the general donor of ASuBiH. Its 2018 Budget was 154,299.84 BAM.

  • Size (in terms of number of participants)

Currently, ASuBiH has more than 2,000 members in 62 local teams from 62 towns in BiH.

  • Membership selection criteria

ASuBiH has two different kinds of members: regular members and honourable members. Every citizen from the territory of BiH that has the status of a secondary school student can apply for the regular membership in the organization. Citizens that do not have the status of a secondary school student can apply for the honourable membership in the organization.

  • Age range of young people participating

Age 15-18.

  • Initiatives to increase the diversity of participating young people / measures for inclusivity

The General Assembly that gathers more than 200 secondary school students in BiH is the highest decision-making body of ASuBiH.

Peer-to-peer trainings and workshops for school student councils, where best practices and knowledge are shared and exchanged, aims at empowering school students to act independently in their communities.

  • Cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations at national and international level.

The Friends Without Borders project, which was financed by the Embassy of the United States in BiH, is based on a three-day home stay exchange between 11 BiH towns. During these three days, 7 participants from every town had the opportunity to go sightseeing through a town and to have fun, but there were also some workshops organised. In the end, there was a final conference organised in Sarajevo, where all participants came together to meet each other. A film was made during the project implementation, which is going to be published soon.

ASuBiH conducted the PAR research for the UNICEF about the drop out and early school-leaving of secondary school students in BiH. ASuBiH started with the conducting of the study, gathering 20 participants in six local communities (Banja Luka, East Sarajevo, Gorazde, Mostar, Visoko, and Zenica) and local partners. After preparing the field and participants in March, ASuBiH started doing meetings with the participants and held 3 in each city. By the end of the field work on the project in July 2014, it was necessary to do 9 more meetings with the participants in each town and do activities in between.