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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.2 National youth law

Last update: 29 March 2024

Existence of a National Youth Law

The Law on Youth (Zakon o mladima) is the binding official document of the Republic of Serbia that addresses youth/young people, youth policy actors, youth activity, youth work aiming to support young people in organizations, social activism, development and fulfilment of their potential for their own and for the benefit of the society.

The law was adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on 5 July 2011 and entered into force on 17 January 2012.

Scope and contents

The Law on Youth regulates measures and activities undertaken by the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province and local self-governments, aimed at improving the social status and position of youth and creating conditions for addressing young people’s needs and interests by: 

  • Defining the general aims of the Youth Policy in Serbia;
  • Envisaging the development of National Youth Strategy;
  • Identifying youth, and youth associations as one of the key actors in youth policy development and implementation;
  • Envisaging formation of the Youth Council, Youth Offices and Agency for Youth;
  • Setting the framework for financing of programmes and projects in the youth sector;
  • Specifying the role of institutions in monitoring of youth policy.

The law regulates and supports following principles that set the foundation of the youth policy in Serbia:

  • Youth Support Principle
  • Equality and Non-Discrimination Principle
  • Equal Opportunity Principle
  • Principle of Raising Awareness on the Importance of Youth and their Social Role
  • Active Youth Participation Principle
  • Principle of Youth Responsibility and Solidarity

The Law also defines the rights and obligations of young people. It stipulates that all young people should be equal and entitled to equal opportunities and participation in all spheres of life. Additionally, the law specifies that young people should actively contribute to the building and upholding of social values and to the development of their communities. Young people should express intergenerational solidarity and actively work on creating conditions for an equal and full participation in all the aspects of social life of young people with disabilities, minority youth and all other persons and social groups that may be at risk from discrimination.

The law targets the youth population in general (aged between 15 and 30), and identifies youth with fewer opportunities. All young people are recognised as equals. It specifies that any unjustified difference made between or any unequal treatment of young people, direct or indirect, on any grounds is prohibited.

The law specifies the following regulating aspects of the National Youth Strategy:

  • active participation of young people in social life,
  • ensuring equal opportunities rights,
  • access to information,
  • encouragement and validation of tolerance, democracy and exceptional achievements of young people,
  • fostering and development of formal and non-formal education,
  • encouragement and incentives for employment and self-employment of young people and youth entrepreneurship,
  • improvement of youth safety, sustainable development and healthy environment,
  • protection and improvement of youth health and other activities and areas of importance for young people.

As it was described on the official webpage of the Ministry of Youth and Sport (in charge for adaptation of the Law of Youth at that time), the drafting of the law was conducted in two phases of the consultative process, with the participation of relevant actors in youth policy, such as:

  • youth representatives,
  • youth offices,
  • local self-government units,
  • associations,
  • relevant state institutions,
  •  ministries,
  • Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (Stalna konferencija gradova i opština),
  • Committee on Youth and Sports of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia,
  • the media,
  • the industry, etc.

In the first phase of the process, together with local youth offices, 45 roundtables were held with about 1 500 young people from youth organizations and local institutions.

In the second phase of the consultative process, 29 round tables were held with more than 1 000 participants. Also, a public hearing on the draft of the law was held in six cities. Young people participated in all stages of the drafting of this law. According to the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the majority of the solutions contained in the adopted law are the result of the demands of young people expressed in the consultative process.


The Law on Youth did not undergo any revisions/updates.