Data on Youths in BiH
Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina are persons between the age of 15 and 30. There are more males than females within this age population.

The number of young people in BiH is 777 000 (which is 315,000 less than in 1991when it was 1,091,775).

There are about 607 100 people under the age of 15 in Bosnia today.

The priorities of young people are reflected in the following several areas:
-    Education
-    Employment
-    Health
-    Social status
-    Participation in public life
-    Culture, sport and leisure
The position of youth in Bosnia can be traced through their treatment in the above areas.


In addition to employment and economy, education and training are important elements that determine the economic and social status of young people and the most important elements of youth policy.

As defined by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, education is a basic human right.

After the adoption of the Lisbon Strategy, and through the Bologna and Copenhagen process, the European Union set up the reform of education as a priority for governments of all Member States.

Therefore, the Bologna process is the most important and comprehensive reform of the higher education in Europe. The ultimate result of the process is to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010, in which the qualifications of employees and students will be recognized throughout the European Union, which will allow them greater mobility and easier employment.

Key challenges in this field are:
-    Poor connection between the education system with labour and employment sector and labour market.
-    The education system is based on teaching without a practical component in education
-    Extremely high rate of unemployment and low workforce productivity.
-    Incompatibility of education with labour market needs.
-    Delay of reforms in the education system.
-    There is no policy of human resources development.


All data show that the unemployment is the problem number one among young people in our country. It is over 60%!
Of these, 13.4% of unemployed youth were unemployed for less than 12 months.
Half of the unemployed have been unemployed for over 2 years.
One fifth of them have been unemployed for over 5 years.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (the Department responsible for labour, employment, social protection and pensions) and the Labour and Employment Agency are the state institutions directly responsible for employment sector. There are also two permanent bodies of the Council of Ministers which are of crucial importance for the development of youth employment policy, the Directorate for Economic Planning and the Commission for Coordination of Youth Issues in BiH.


Health is a basic condition for the overall development of society. It is the responsibility of an individual, community and state institutions and work on these issues is a long-term investment.

Young people in BiH face numerous risks in this field and the most intense are: war effects, worsened life conditions, increased abuse of psychoactive substances, alcohol and tobacco products, poor mental health (with an increased rate of suicides), poor physical health caused by not doing sport, peer violence, lack of information about sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, etc. Also a substantial part of the youth population has no health insurance, 10% of them.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a solid legal basis when it comes to this area. In addition to a number of laws that are indirectly related to the health of young people, there are four laws that directly regulate the field of health of young people:
-    Law on the Prevention and Suppression of the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs;
-    Law on Roads Traffic Safety Basis in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
-    Law on Gender Equality in BiH;
-    Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education in BiH


The total population of young people is a vulnerable group and much closer to poverty than the population of adults.

Young people who did not continue their education after completing primary school has the largest share of poor population, 57%.

Young returnees in some parts of the country account for 10% of the poor.

In addition to the young returnees, "vulnerable" categories are also young people with developmental disorders, Roma and other minorities and young single parents.

Social assistance is one of the fundamental human rights that BiH is obliged to provide for its citizens on the basis of signed international conventions (the European Social Charter, 1961.), as well as the BiH Constitution (Annex I, which contains the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

The strategic priorities in the field of social policy are reflected in the following:
-    Harmonization of standards, regulations and policies (differed among the administrative units)
-    Establishment of institutional framework (which will allow for the inclusion policies)
-    Improving the effectiveness of social assistance services
-    Making long-term housing policy.


In practical terms, the participation of young people means that they are aware of their rights and obligations in society, that they exercise and defend them, have the opportunity to present their needs, and that they are taken into account in policy making.

The most important international documents addressing this field are the European Charter on the Participation of Young People in the Local and Regional Life and the White Paper of the European Union, 2001.

In BiH, young people are still insufficiently involved.
Only 5% of young people are members of youth organization, 6% are members of political parties and 1% are members of representative bodies of youth.

The biggest challenges that young people face in this area are:
-    Lack of legislation
-    Lack of program access
-    Transparency in the allocation and distribution of public funds
-    Lack of public spaces for young people
-    Low level of work with youth
-    Low level of participation of youth in BiH society.


Sport means any form of physical activity which, through organized participation and engagement in leisure, aims at expressing or improving fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or giving results in competition at all levels.

Leisure time is a set of activities to which an individual can be completely devoted according to his will.

The institutions that are primarily responsible for issues of culture, sport and leisure time of youth are ministries at the entity level.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs is responsible at the state level.

The main challenges for young people in this field are:
-    Legal disorder
-    Lack of strategy or strategic framework for the development and investment in the field of culture and sport
-    The absence of a programmatic approach
-    Lack of adequate institutional capacity
-    Poor coordination and cooperation between different levels/institutions of government in BiH
-    Financial difficulties
-    Incompetence and lack of qualification of a part of sports staff.