Several international organizations in Serbia issued a joint statement on International Human Rights day warning that young people in the country face unemployment, the risk of poverty, marginalization and mental health issues among other problems.
The UN Team in Serbia, Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, OSCE Mission and European Union Delegation said they want to “focus on youth faced with challenges in many parts of the world, including in Serbia”.
“Even though the overall unemployment rate has been decreasing recently, high youth unemployment remains the same, despite the National Youth Strategy and other efforts. Youth unemployment is twice as high as general unemployment,” it added.
Marginalised youth groups, such as young Roma face especially difficult situations, since they are not expressly identified as a vulnerable group in the Law on Public Health. Health care, especially in rural areas, is not equally available to all citizens, including rural youth, the organizations added.
As many as 45 percent of young people are reported to be constantly worried about something, and 28 percent cry frequently. More than half have experienced at least one stressful event in the past two yearsand as many as 12 percent reported feeling completely worthless, while 7 percent have considered suicide.
According to European Statistics Office data more than 4,000 people leave Serbia each month, and 51,000 – mainly youth – leave each year, the statement warned.
For youth in Serbia to ensure their rights and greater autonomy, on this Human Rights Day, the UN Country Team in Serbia, the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, the OSCE Mission to Serbia and the EU Delegation to Serbia affirm that young people should be offered meaningful support, conducive to their self-sustainability and empowerment.
The entire statement is available here.