Institute for Youth Development KULT held a Conference entitled Keeping in Step with the Youth Laws of BiH, at the Hotel Bristol (Fra Filipa Lastri?a 2, Sarajevo), on 22 April, at 14.00 hours.More than 120 invitees attended the Conference, including Salmir Kaplan, Minister of Culture and Sports of the Federation of BiH, Damir Marjanovi?, Minister of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, and Mr. Jens Wagner who attended the Conference on behalf of the German Embassy in BiH. The conference participants were representatives of all levels of government, international institutions and organisations, Youth Councils/Committees for Youth and the media.This Conference centred upon examples of good practice concerning the enforcement of the two Youth Laws of BiH, activities conducted by the Youth Councils/Committees for Youth, their role and the influence they exert as umbrella youth associations in BiH. According to the findings of a survey carried out by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, the establishment of Youth Councils/Committees for Youth has changed the local communities’ and the local authorities’ attitude towards youth in 43.5% of cases. This is only one of many other indicators which shows how important the establishment and the sustainable functioning of Youth Councils/Committees for Youth are, along with the fact that the Youth Councils/Committees for Youth bring together more than 3,000 young people in BiH.
“Youth Councils or Committees for Youth are umbrella youth organisations based on voluntary membership of youth organisations. We are legitimate representatives with nearly 750,000 young people in BiH of which 30,000 are actively engaged in the field of youth work. We represent youth interests at all levels of government. As such, we are advocating the improvement of youth position in all spheres of social life, primarily in terms of enforcing the already adopted strategies and youth laws, and in terms of passing new ones aimed at enhancing youth status in BiH. The fact that more and more of us, young people, are leaving our hometowns and that no one shows any interest in making us stay is unacceptable. We expect public authorities to find solutions, in an effective manner, so as to provide us with better education opportunities, new jobs that will enable us to start our own families. We expect them to ensure a better social status and a better health care concept. What we need is more practice based concepts in schools and colleges so as to be capable of doing our jobs. We need more space for young people to express our own potentials, we need programmes of greater quality in the field of culture and sports. What we want to highlight is the need for more tangible and intangible support, i.e. separate allocations in the budget for us, young people. We expect public authorities to recognise Youth Councils/Committees for Youth as partners with whom they will be pursuing goals and improving youth position.”
The Conference Keeping in Step with the Youth Laws of BiH has been organised as part of the initiative Institutional dialogue between young people and governmental authorities through the establishment of youth councils.