Youth unemployment is a huge problem in Bosnia and Hercegovina

The unemployment in Bosnia and Hercegovina is a real threat for the peace and the progress of the nation

By Milan Ilić

In Bosnia and Hercegovina there are 777.000 young people and 60 percent of them are unemployed. Numerous government and non-government organizations raise many employment projects, but the problem is still one of the biggest ones among the youth.

Young people in Bosnia and Hercegovina are considered at the age between 18 and 30. Within this age structure if the population there are more men than women. The total number of young people in the country is 777.000 and although the majority of them is capable to work, they are unemployed.

The World Bank recently had warned that the unemployment in Bosnia and Hercegovina is a real threat for the peace and the progress of the nation.

-In Bosnia and Hercegovina very small percentage of the working capable generations are participating in work or in the search for a job. More than 25 percent from these working capable youth are unemployed. This is staggering and problematic number, and bigger concern is the rate of unemployment among youth, which is twice bigger compared with the one of older people. Bosnia and Hercegovina is not alone in this situation, the situation is similar or the same probably in the whole western Balkan. The high unemployment rate is a real threat and it must be solved so that the country may secure safe and prosperous future for its nation, recently has stated the director of the World Bank for the countries in Southeast Europe, Ellen Goldstein.

The Ministry for civil affairs in Bosnia and Hercegovina (with the responsible Sector for work, employment, health, social protection and a retirement fund) and the Agency for work and employment are the state institutions that are directly responsible for the sector for employment and labor. There are two other permanent bodies within the Council of ministers of Bosnia and Hercegovina that are from great importance for development of the policies for youth employment, Direction for economic planning and the Commission for coordination of youth issues in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Nevertheless, the projects that they are launching are not giving good results and the employment growth is merely noticeable.

But, many think that young people are guilty as much because they are lethargic. The German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently has published an article about youth in Bosnia and Hercegovina in which it is stated that the youth in the country have surreal expectations, that they are searching for jobs, but to work and that it’s their fault why they are living in misery.

The official data show that the young people are still not involved as they should be. Total 5 percent of the young people are members of the youth organizations, 6 percent are members of the political parties, one percent are members of the representative bodies for youth.

In a practical meaning, the participation of the youth means that they are familiar with their own rights and responsibilities in the society, that they are using and defending them, that they have an opportunity to represent their needs and that they are taken into consideration in the process of creating the youth policies.

The biggest challenge that the young people are facing with are some irregularities in the regulations, the lack of program’s approach, the lack of transparency during granting and allocation of the public resources, the lack of public space for youth, low level of work and cooperation with youth as well as low level of participation of the youth in the society.