An increasing number of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina) are considering leaving the country without any intention of returning, according to a UN report released on Wednesday.
the survey conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) interviewed 5,000 young people earlier this year. It found that almost half (47%) had been thinking about emigrating, and almost a quarter (24%) were considering leaving permanently.
The country has a long tradition of emigration that has intensified in the past three decades in the wake of the conflict in the 1990s, the report says.
However, what had become “constant trends” of economic migration to more developed countries has now taken on a “new dimension”, with “immense” consequences for Bosnia itself.
“The general impression is that the structure of the migrant population is changing and that more and more young people are considering the possibility of emigrating and leaving without any intention of returning, which has an immense impact on trends and social, economic and social development. demographic, “he added. the report concludes.
Based on the results, he estimates that between 22,300 and 23,700 of the 18 to 29-year-olds will leave the country temporarily or permanently during the next 12 months.
The reasons for the exodus go beyond the usual desire to seek better economic prospects, living standards and quality of life, says UNFPA. He also cites a low level of trust among young people in public institutions.
“More than 70 percent of young people believe that the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina is systematically corrupt,” says the survey. “These findings imply that young people do not believe that the public institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina care about their interests.”
A combination of factors, from a “lack of sense of overall stability” to “unmet security needs”, means that migration aspirations and behavior in Bosnia are “driven by need rather than choice.”
The report recommends new “crucial” public sector reforms, with youth policies targeting school-to-work transition, youth inactivity and poverty. Public services should be more available and accessible, while actions are needed to restore young people’s trust in public institutions.
It also calls for a new impetus to involve young people in decision-making and increase their participation in society.
A varied approach is needed, the report says, to combat “the prevalence and persistence of negative stereotypes of young people as passive, indifferent, incompetent and useless, along with the notion that only the ‘losers’ remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the brave and the clever license. “
The UN poll comes amid the Balkan country’s worst political crisis since a US-brokered peace deal ended more than three and a half years of bloodshed in 1995.
The agreement divided Bosnia into two regions, the Serb-led Republika Srpska and the Bosnian-Croatian Federation, which were granted broad autonomy but remain linked by some joint institutions.
Serbs have long advocated independence from the rest of Bosnia. Its hardline leader, Milorad Dodik, recently promised that the Bosnian Serb region would declare the creation of its own army and judiciary by the end of November.
The Serbs’ stance has raised alarm in the West that Bosnia could be in danger of breaking up.
Visiting the country this week, a senior US official warned nationalist leaders trying to “tear it apart” that “there are tools we have to punish such behavior,” seen as a reference to possible sanctions.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism