In a country where 67% of youth are unemployed and only 9% are married and where there is a large number of youth who wish to permanently leave the country, it is high time to address the youth issues in a purposeful way


 


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As a part of the Youth Watch Youth Policy Initiative and with the support of the EU, on 6 March 2015 in Hotel Holywood in IlidĹľa, the Institute for Youth Development KULT organised a conference „New Parliament - Same Youth Problems“. The Initiative aims to contribute to establishing sustainable mechanisms of cooperation between the governmental and non-governmental sector and the system for monitoring, evaluation, analysis and advocating of youth policy implementation on all levels of government in BiH. 


In a country where 67% of youth are unemployed and only 9% are married and where there is a large number of youth who wish to permanently leave the country, it is high time to address the youth issues in a purposeful way. Today, in our discussion with the MPs, we are focusing on the decision makers, those who can bring fundamental changes to the Parliament, and that will be implemented by the governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina according to their suggestions. We believe there is a legislative framework for changing the position of the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is something we have been working on in the previous sessions of the Parliament. The youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina can make a difference, but only with the support of their senior colleagues, because they themselves cannot make decisions. We expect them to initiate the change in their political parties and to make decisions that are appropriate for the youth. Alas, the government did not respond to youth problems. When addressing the legal possibilities, changes have been brought up, but the major issue of implementation still remains, underlined Jasmin Beši? – the executive director of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.


As a part of the conference, information about youth policy implementation that have been integrated as a part of the platform Institutions' Integrity Indeks www.integritet.ba have been presented. The online platform enables anyone who is interested an overview of the coordination level of the institutions in charge for the youth according to their purview, legal frameworks and regulations in accordance with the laws concerning the youth in BiH.


The issues of the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been regulated by the Youth Law of FBiH and the Law on Youth Organising of Republika Srpska. Both of the laws prescribe certain measures for the institutions on all levels of government that should regulate the youth issues and result in a better care for the youth in BiH. Our analysis reviews the youth policies directly, and our results state that the institutions do not dedicate enough attention to the youth. The burning issues of the youth are unemployment and the youth leaving the country. Our researches show that over 70% of youth would permanently leave Bosnia and Herzegovina, while 67% are unemployed. It is important to emphasize that only 16% of the institutions allocate certain funds for incentivising youth employment, stated Ĺ eherzada Halimi?, the presenter of the research into youth policy. 


The gathered information resulted in a publication entitled  Analysis of Youth Policies at all Levels of Government in BiH for 2012/2013. The publication was presented to the conference participants – the young representatives in the Parliament of BiH, Parliament of FBiH, to the National Assembly of Republika Srpska and to the cantonal assemblies in FBiH. The publication thus galvanised a discussion of making and implementing youth policies that are placed in front of the new session of youth representatives on all levels of government, as well as in front of the civil society organisations.


 

Members of the Youth Watch Youth Policy initiative – Demokratska organizacija mladih Velika Kladuša and the Youth Council of Klju? Municipality – have signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Una-Sana Canton. The goal is to establish institutional mechanisms enabling a dialogue between youth and the government, so that creating, monitoring and implementing the youth policy in BiH could be performed in a joint effort. 


 


In order to meet this common goal, the signatory parties are willing to contribute in the following ways: 


Contribution of the Initiative


-  situation analysis with recommendations provided by experts;


-  public campaign for raising consciousness on youth policies;


-  advisory assistance on the manner of implementing recommendations in strategic documents. 


Contribution of the government of Una-Sana Canton


-  supporting youth officers in getting involved in implementing activities;


- willingness to improve and establish youth policy mechanisms;


-  willingness to implement recommendations regarding youth policies based on a situation analysis;


-  close cooperation and coordination of activities with members of the Initiative;


-  taking part in a conference during which reports and recommendations will be presented (analyses and recommendations will be provided to nine institutions).


The initiative  Youth Watch Youth Policy was formed with the goal of enabling cooperation, exchange of experiences and knowledge among youth councils and organization engaged in youth work, so to strengthen their role as partners in a dialogue with the government, implementing and monitoring the youth policy. It comprises: the Institute for Youth Development KULT Perpetuum mobile, Youth Council Vlasenica, Demokratska organizacija mladih Velika Kladuša, Youth Council of Klju? Municipality, Youth Council of Grada?ac Municipality, Youth Council of Novi Grad Sarajevo Muncipality, Youth Council of Tomislavgrad Municipality and the Youth Council of IlidĹľa Municipality. 



 

A Warm Up event was organised to present the institutions’ integrity index platform www.shishaj.se at the Institute for Youth Development KULT in IlidĹľa.  


According to information on the platform made by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, each third municipality in BiH does not have a youth officer. From a total of 142 municipalities in BiH, only 69 of them provided information for 2012, and 73 for 2013 regarding the monitoring of youth policy, and only the Cantonal Ministry added “and youth” in their label, claiming authority.  









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- This is the first time that the data are presented this way. The data may be searched under two categories. These are: Audit reports and youth policy – Belma Gijo from the Institute for Youth Development KULT explained the index platform.


 


To make it clear, we emphasize that an audit report was made for a 10 year period encompassing institutions at the state and entity level and that this is about the whole BiH story. At a time when the politicians fight for votes and speak of youth intensively, we wish to point out the case for youth thus far. The mere fact that the highest parties’ integrity index when it comes to youth policy 33, 7 out of 100 % speaks for itself, whereas most parties in BiH have a very low number of adopted youth policy strategies.  
 
- Youth policy and audit reports will have an effect on the general integrity of the institutions. The platform users will be able to choose whether to follow a certain institution through one or other category and will eventually have results on their integrity index – stated Gijo. 


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It was emphasized that many institutions in BiH were not ready for collaboration to provide information regarding the monitoring of youth policy.

Gijo also emphasized that lately, a large number of political parties and authorities in BiH often speak of youth and unemployment, but no one does anything really to solve the problem.
 
- This is the reason we made the institutions’’ integrity index platform, to show that the institutions do not care enough for youth in BiH to the public – concluded Gijo. 


 



 

A Cooperation Agreement was signed today between the initiative Youth Watch Youth Policy and municipalities Tomislavgrad, Grada?ac and Vlasenica. According to the Cooperation Agreement the Initiative is responsible for performing an analysis of the state of youth policy implementation with recommendations for improvements in the aforementioned local communities; conduct a public campaign with the aim of raising consciousness on youth policies and provide advisory support for including the provided recommendations in the local governments’ documents.


The cooperation will also contribute to creating an environment conducive to youth policy implementation and including youth in decision-making processes. That way youth will participate responsibly in creating a better future in their community and beyond.


The initiative Youth Watch Youth Policy was launched with the aim of enabling cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experiences between youth councils/committees, and organisations engaged in youth work, to enable them to become stronger partners to the government in the process of making, implementing and monitoring the youth policy. The Initiative is working on establishing sustainable mechanisms of cooperation between the government and non-governmental sector and a system for monitoring, evaluation, analysis and advocacy of youth policy implementation on all levels of government in BiH. Members of the Initiative will provide recommendations for improving the youth policy in 4 local administrations, 2 cantons, at entity and state level.


The initiative Youth Watch Youth Policy comprises: Institute for Youth Development KULT, Perpetuum mobile, Vlasenica Youth Council, Democratic Youth Organisation Velika Kladuša, Youth Council of Klju? Municipality, Youth Council of Grada?ac Municipality, Youth Council of Novi Grad Sarajevo Municipality, Youth Council of Tomislavgrad Municipality and Youth Council of Ilidža Municipality.



 

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