“Young people in the Western Balkans who are more committed and geared towards democratic values, recognise more the similarities of the peoples in the Western Balkans and see the potential for building a better future in the region”, said the study on the common future in the region called “Zajednička budućnost – Opažanja mladih o miru na Zapadnom Balkanu”.
The study presented by Suzana Dakas, UNDP specialist for youth, peace and security, states that young people in the region are dissatisfied with the governments and institutions of their countries, and are doubtful about the work or dissatisfied with the civil sector and youth organisations.
Some 58% of young people said that during the pandemic, trust in governments has declined and that young people have a key role to play for stability and peace in the region. The most common form of discrimination is incitement to hatred and girls are most affected by discriminatory comments. Discrimination is mainly based on age, political orientation and ethnicity.
Only 19.5% of young people in the region participate in social activities, but about 65% expressed a wish to be more active.
“There is a gap between young people’s areas of interest and what they ultimately participate in, which indicates that more distinct formal and informal platforms for social engagement are needed,” Dakas said.
The biggest problem for both young people and the societies they leave behind is still their migration abroad. Some 52% of them said they see themselves abroad in 10 years’ time.
The study was conducted among thousands of young people in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo. Young people of both sexes, from different ethnic, educational, socio-economic and religious groups, and from urban and rural areas were involved.
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