Solving the Issue of High Youth Unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s youth unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world. Nearly two-thirds of Bosnians aged 15 to 24 are unemployed. The high rate significantly constrains aggregate demand and economic growth in the country. There are four factors responsible for the crisis: corruption, a lack of entrepreneurship, ethnic divisions, and lingering economic scars from the Bosnian War in 1992 – 1995. To help alleviate the issue of youth unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Department should lend financial support to Oxfam and the International Monetary Fund.

In 1992, the fall of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia triggered a series of political conflicts that led to the Bosnian War. The war raged for three years, claiming more than 100,000 lives, displacing more than 2 million people, and laying waste to the economy of the region. The peace agreement that ended the war, the Dayton Peace Accords, prevented the region’s economy from rebounding and are responsible for the high rate of unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The accords preserved the region’s ethnic divisions and created a needlessly complicated system of government. Modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two main political entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each entity consists of very different ethnic groups, the majority of which live apart from one another.  Bosnia and Herzegovina has three presidents, 13 prime ministers, a Parliament consisting of two houses, and many small lawmaking assemblies. The complex system of government facilitates corruption, and much of the foreign aid given to the country is misused. Enterprises in the ethnically uniform regions of the country are unwilling to hire people from outside their region.  The large size of the public sector, which has been estimated to account for nearly 70% of the country’s GDP, has led to regulations and taxes that make starting a business difficult.  

Oxfam is an international NGO composed of 19 charitable organizations. Its primary mission is the elimination of poverty around the world. Unlike many other NGOs with the same mission, Oxfam does not distribute material goods. The organization seeks to address the conditions that lead to poverty in the first place. Oxfam is currently working on many projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The NGO’s objectives in the region are to teach Bosnians the basics of business and entrepreneurship and to help them network with people outside of their local communities. The jobs created by the newly formed enterprises will increase the prominence of the country’s private sector and help decrease the country’s high rate of youth unemployment. By working with Bosnians directly, Oxfam bypasses the issue of government corruption. By assisting Bosnians with networking outside of their local communities, Oxfam will reduce the separation among different ethnicities living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an IGO consisting of 189 member countries. The IMF’s main objective is to promote international financial stability and monetary cooperation. The organization monitors regional, national, and global financial developments, and makes recommendations to its member countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an arrangement with the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The EFF provides financial support to federal programs in countries with balance-of-payments deficits with the goal of correcting structural issues that bring about those deficits. A balance-of-payments deficit occurs when a country imports more goods than it exports and can make an economy dependent on foreign aid and remittances. The IMF monitors how countries use the EFF’s aid and can withdraw the aid from a country that mishandles it. The EFF lends support to programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina that seek to increase the number of goods the country produces and exports. These programs will create many stable manufacturing jobs and decrease youth unemployment in the country.

By supporting Oxfam and the International Monetary Fund  (IMF) financially, the State Department will help reduce the youth unemployment rate in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The organizations can address many of the issues responsible for the high rate of unemployment.  Both organizations will create new businesses and jobs in the country. Oxfam will reduce ethnic division by helping Bosnians network outside of their local communities. The IMF can cut-off its support if the country misuses it, and aid given to Oxfam will go directly to Bosnians.

The Time For Turkey to Consider Long Term Integration Efforts has Arrived

Having welcomed over 3.5 million Syrian Refugees into their country due to civil conflict in Syria (more than any other country), the time for Turkey to develop long term integration efforts has seemingly arrived. Only a handful of these 3.5 million fleeing the conflict in Syria though are registered as asylum seekers, leaving the majority of them vulnerable to unlawful deportation, coerced returns to Syria and the denial of basic services such as health care and education. The Turkish government is attempting to provide aid where it is able and sees fit, spending an estimated 450 million euros a month, covering basic needs, such as education facilities, health centers and medical services. Turkey has spent an overall estimate of about $30 billion since 2011, with minimal international burden sharing.

Demographically, the vast majority of these refugees are mixed in with the Turkish population, concentrated in twelve of Turkey’s eighty one provinces. Only 213,000 are estimated to be living in refugee camps provided by Turkey. The number of Syrians in Kilis (a province in south central Turkey that borders Syria) alone, make up about 95% of its local population. This vast number of refugees throughout all of Turkey though, is only expected to grow in the coming years. Turkish Authorities have estimated by 2028 there will over 5 million Syrians taking refuge in Turkey, a clear call for more durable forms of protection and full integration.

Integration efforts of sorts have already begun in Turkey, though have all come to face challenges of their own, such as monetary needs or Turkish Law. Mr.Erdogan The Turkish President for instance, has granted citizenship to more than 60,000 Syrians (mostly those with higher cultural and economic capital). The issue with this number, is that the remaining millions of Syrians taking refuge in Turkey are left in “limbo”, left to face rather distasteful and difficult conditions. To further protect those in “limbo”, Turkey’s 2014 Law on Foreigners and International Protection, states that foreigners and others will not be sent back to places where they will be tortured, or suffer inhumane treatment, or be threatened due to race, religion or group membership. The issue with this seemingly ideal law though, is that it prevents large influxes of refugees to resettle permanently in Turkey. The Turkish government has also been working to expand education for the 800,000 Syrian refugee children since 2016, attempting to integrate them into the public school system. By the end of 2018, the Turkish government plans to close all temporary education centers and plans to build in their place 150 new schools with donated funds. Building these new schools and permanently integrating these Syrian refugees cannot be done though without additional sources of money.

GOAL, an NGO that works towards ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable in the world, especially those affected by humanitarian crises, have access to the necessities of life such as shelter, food, water and sanitation, healthcare, education, and economic opportunities, would be perfectly suited to offer aid towards further integration of the Syrian refugees into Turkish society. GOAL has been working in Turkey since 2014, and has reached over 43,000 Syrian refugees with health care services, and has reached many more through additional services such as vocational training support and legal support within Turkey. With the correct funding, GOAL would be able to strengthen the variety of areas that it already helps, providing a brighter future for the refugees already living within Turkey’s borders.

Providing crucial assistance to countries all across the world that are in crisis, as well as helping refugees through months and likely years of displacement, the IGO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has played a vital role in Turkey. The UNHCR has helped manage the entry of refugees through two border points by giving security checks as well as health checks and registration. In addition, the staff visited the border areas and camps daily in order to supply necessary aid. The UNHCR supported Turkey’s 2014 Law on Foreigners and International Protection as well, revealing them to be in support of further integration of Syrian refugees into Turkish society. With additional funding provided by the State Department, GOAL and the UNHCR would have access to new forms of aid and influence that would allow them to permanently integrate Syrian refugees into Turkey.

 

Save the Roma

The Roma, known as Gypsies, is a group of ethnic migrants in Europe.The Roma have no permanent residency. Instead, they move around places and live in scattered camps all over Europe. They have a long history of suffering from the lack of human rights protection. Tracing their origin in northwestern India 1500 years ago, these groups of people currently live in central and eastern Europe.
Because of the rise of the nationalism in Eastern Europe, the Roma have become the target blamed for refugee issue. Ever since the end of the Soviet era, the Roma have been threatened: especially under the populist surge in Europe. Europeans hold strong misperceptions and false generalizations of Roma culture.
In Italy, there has been a large amount of human rights abuses since 2008, including the destruction of Roma community buildings. Matteo Salvini, Italy’s prime minister, stigmatized the Roma as outsiders to the country even though they are Italian citizens. According to Salvini’s policy, Roma children are required to record their fingerprints. This is an ethnic discrimination against the Romani race.
Aside from political persecution, the Roma plays a marginalized role in European societies. People have stereotypical impressions of them as poor, sick, and foreign.“ Often, the Roma are perceived as incapable of integration. Gradually, they have become the scapegoat for mainstream European culture. The United Nations has defined this situation as discrimination
The European Roma Rights Center is a Roma-led, international public interest law organization that focuses on engaging in a range of activities to help combat anti-Romani racism and human rights abuses of the Romani people. This organization also brings public attention and political awareness to the human rights situation of the Roma. The ERRC helps the Roma with legal protection and direct aid in education, health, housing, and public services in Europe.
One of the most notorious recent attacks on Roma occurred in Ukraine. Beginning this April of 2018, the Ukrainian far-right nationalist group, C14, attacked a number of Roma camps under the excuse of “cleaning Ukraine’s cities”. However, no one was arrested, and the government even gave a state grant to support the movement as “patriotic education”. The ERRC steped in and empowered the Roma victims to sue the government of Ukraine.
The European Health Alliance works to improve the poor state of health care among the Roma. It was also co-founded with the Health Program of the EU. This organization promotes strategies for early childhood development and mainstream Roma integration. The EHPA has recommended a number of actions to the European Commission to prioritize the elimination on health inequalities among the Roma. For example, Roma children and infants have lower life expectancies compared with non-Roma citizens. The EPHA states that the poor state of health in Roma communities is prevalent and their statistical numbers from various social fields are often being ignored throughout Europe.