By signing a cooperation agreement, the Institute for Youth Development KULT and public institution „Memorial Fund“ of Sarajevo Canton formalized their commitment to working together on improving the position of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Over the next year, the Institute and the Memorial Fund will work on developing different forms of non-formal education for youth in BiH and advocating for higher quality and actionable public policies, especially youth policies.

The first Youth Dialogue with diplomatic representatives of the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland was held in Banja Luka. Young participants met with the Dutch Ambassador in BiH Jan Waltmans, Head of the Diplomatic Bureau of the Kingdom of Belgium Benjamin Sturtewagen, and the Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to BiH Daniel Hunn.

This event was an opportunity for young people to talk to diplomats about the problems they face in Banja Luka.  The focus was particularly on corruption and its impact on youth, employment, and youth participation in decision making. The participants also discussed other important topics relevant to youth in Banja Luka and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The young people in attendance appreciated the opportunity to talk to diplomatic representatives about their problems and share ideas for improving young people’s position in the country.  Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Switzerland and the Head of the Diplomatic Bureau of the Kingdom of Belgium underscored the importance of engaging young people in a dialogue on issues the embassies are targeting in their efforts to improve the lives of youth in BiH. In communication with representatives of the BiH authorities, the embassies of these countries continuously emphasize the need to develop policies that will improve the quality of life for young people and encourage them to stay in BiH.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT supported the organization and implementation of the Dialogue, reinforcing our belief that events such as this one can result in more opportunities for youth in BiH.

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The trend of young people leaving BiH continues unabated. Day after day, we are witnessing our educated workforce leaving to build a better life elsewhere.

Young people have a variety of different reasons for leaving, and the survey on the position and needs of youth in BiH conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT showed that corruption is one of the most commonly cited reasons. Ranked as the 4th biggest problem youth face, corruption is obviously casting a dark shadow over their everyday lives.

Corruption permeates all aspects of life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially employment. Almost 90 percent of young people believe that resorting to bribery to get a job in public administration is a common practice in BiH, with almost 60% stating that bribery is used in most cases and 30% stating that this does happen, but not frequently.

On this day, thirteen years ago, the United Nations adopted the Convention against Corruption in Mexico, with December 9 being marked as International Anti-Corruption Day in the world ever since. In the broadest sense, corruption is any form of abuse of power for personal or group gain, whether in the public or private sector. Transparency International's 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Bosnia and Herzegovina among countries where corruption is worsening rapidly. BiH dropped 11 place, currently ranking as 111th out of 180 countries with 35 points (on a 0-100 scale). This is Bosnia and Herzegovina's lowest rating since 2012, when the country ranked 72 with 42 points.

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