Definition of Youth

The Law on Empowerment and Participation of Youth (2009) defines youth in Kosovo as 15-24 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • --
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • --
  • --

  • A court may grant an application to marriage for minors aged 16-18. No data for marriage with parental consent. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: Family Law (2004), UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Juvenile Justice Code of Kosovo

Majority Age


Source: Family Law (2004)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Kosovo has a youth law and youth strategy with action plan. A 2011 review exists.

The Law on Empowerment and Participation of Youth (2009) outlines rights, responsibilities and obligations of governmental authorities and youth organisations. The Youth Strategy 2013-2017 and Action Plan 2013-2015 has a vision for young people

[…] to become active, healthy, educated citizens, who enjoy a good and qualitative life and prepare to face all challenges of life as responsible members of local, regional, European and world community.
The strategy focuses on youth participation, non-formal education, employment & entrepreneurship, education, health, security, sports, culture, recreation, and social integration.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Youth Department within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has responsibility for youth affairs and policy in Kosovo. The department is mandated to implement the Youth Strategy & Action Plan, conduct analysis of the youth sector, develop programs for identified groups of youth, coordinate with departments, municipalities & organisations to develop and implement policies, support the formation of clubs & associations for youth, encourage financial and other support for the youth sector, and provide information for youth about services and programs.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Central Youth Action Council of Kosovo (CYAC) exists to
[…] advance the rights of young people and to ensure that strong collective voice of young people heard to policy and decision makers at all levels.
Activities of the CYAC include research, representation to government, participation in youth policy design & implementation, awareness campaigns, and youth exchanges. In 2013 CYAC received support from the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) to aid their participation in policy- and decision-making locally and nationally.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
EUR 1.3 million
USD 1.8 million
The Government of Kosovo allocated EUR 1.3 million (USD 1.8 million) for youth in 2013 in the Central Budget (2013). This is further broken down into allocations of EUR 333,963 (USD 457,720) for Youth Prevention and Integration, EUR 758,290 (USD 1.0 million) for Development and Support of Youth, and EUR 200,336 (USD 274,574) for Development of Integration Policies. The World Bank has not calculated spending on education as a percentage of government expenditure or GDP for Kosovo from 2000.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

From the Youth Strategy 2013-2017 (2013):
Kosovo has an increasing population dominated by younger group ages. Men and women younger than 25 years-old represent 49 per cent of population, whereas 19.1 per cent of the youth are between 15-24 years-old.
Youth strategy in Kosovo treats integrated approaches for social, economic and politic participation of the youth in society, especially, in decision-making processes, formal and non-formal education in accordance with the demands of labour market, health services for the youth, higher security, employment and recreational activities for them.
Out of 200 respondents, it resulted that their interests are focused on the segment of formal and non-formal education; 75% of the respondents in this area stated that their priority is formal learning, whereas, 25% of them stated that also the non-formal education has an important role in their professional development. Their second priority is employment; about 70% of the respondents stated that they are more interested in employment, whereas, 50% of them ask for greater stimulation of the youth to establish businesses. However, it was stated that the exclusive support should be provided by state institutions, creating facilities related to establishment of new businesses.
From Reviews on Youth Policies and Youth Work in the Countries of South East Europe, Eastern Europe & Caucasus: Kosovo (2011):
Kosovo has significant needs. Some of these are related to the fact that it is a relatively poor and developing place, with very high employment and a very young population. Employment is a big worry for the young people of Kosovo. Even those with a university education struggle to find jobs so there is a need for business development and English Language teaching (with a particular business focus). There is also a need to change the perceptions of Kosovo and attitudes towards Kosovans outside of the country. Therefore there is a need to enhance Kosovo’s ability to promote itself to the outside world. The country itself and the institutions which govern it are young and Kosovo has received substantial assistance from international institutions and European governments. However, there is still a need for civil society to develop alongside these governmental changes.
Unemployment and its impact on young people are serious issues that affect the development and well being of Kosovo youth. In a region where there is high youth unemployment, young people Reviews on youth policies and youth work in the countries of South East Europe, Eastern Europe & Caucasus must be recognized as a resource for progressive economic development; therefore, the Government should create mechanisms to ensure that young people are involved in the economic development strategies, and that youth issues are considered as a priority.
Youth organizations are positive towards the Youth Department, and that the Youth Department “really listens”. However, they many acknowledge the limits in what the Youth Department achieves – for example the lagging adoption and implementation of KYAP. In general a low level of trust in institutions (especially in their abilities to create change) was expressed through statements that they are not professional, not functional and not getting things done. Some representatives from youth centers and youth organizations expressed disappointment with the inability to have the KYAP adopted and implemented.