National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) is an association of 109 youth and for youth organization, and is the highest independent representative body of youth in Serbia.
KOMS is an advocacy platform which serves for improving of the position of young people and acts as a link between young people, its member organizations and various decision-makers and providers of programs and services for young people (primarily the state and its institutions).
Therefore, KOMS advocates for the improvement of the position of young people in Serbia.
National Youth Council of Serbia implements programs within four areas:
- Local program
- National program
- International program
- Capacity building program
- Sustainable Development
The activities are directed through six thematic units:
- Active participation of young people
- Information and media literacy
- Youth employability
- Youth safety
- Social inclusion, equality and an inclusive society
Advocacy is the primary role of KOMS, but KOMS also provides serveces to its member organizations, by organizing capacity building activities for both the member organizations and the youth active within them. In addition, KOMS’ network of member orgnizations helps them strengthen the mutual ties and work together.
KOMS is an advocacy platform that represents the interests of young people, ensures their active participation and develops systemic solutions in order to improve the position of young people through the development of strategic partnerships, intersectoral and international cooperation, as well as by strengthening the capacities of member organizations and other youth policy actors.
A stimulating environment in which young people represent their interests and actively participate in the development of society.
The process of KOMS’ forming is based on the experiences of previous initiatives of formation of national youth council, the results of numerous analyzes and researches, the needs of organizations in Serbia, as well as the current socio-political context. Without going into the definition of activities and goals, this platform does not intend to define the program aspects of KOMS activities, but rather the way in which the activities will be implemented.
As National Youth Council of Serbia consists of a large number of organizations that differ significantly in structure and program activities, this Platform aims to:
- Establish a common understanding of the values, principles and approaches on which the work of the KOMS will be based on,
- Ensures the quality of KOMS’ activities through the application of this platform in the work of structures and members of KOMS,
- Contributes to the adequate implementation of the principles defined by the National Youth Strategy of the Republic of Serbia.
The design and implementation of the activities of National Youth Council of Serbia will be based on an approach based on human rights, and special attention will be paid to the multi-layered identity of young people, and adequate recognition and advocacy for their rights and needs.
Working simultaneously to strengthen organizations’ capacities, build relationships with institutions, improve public policies and recognize the importance of youth organization, the basic tenets of the National Youth Council of Serbia include civil society development, raising public awareness, advocacy for equal treatment in education and health, youth political participation, economic empowerment and solidarity, the right to self-definig and self-identification, the right to bodily integrity, the fight against sexual and economic exploitation of young people, environmental awareness, and the values of non-violence, anti-racism and anti-fascism. In short, the work of National Youth Council of Serbia will be based on the commitment to respect and affirmation of all human rights and freedoms.
KOMS values and principles
The activities of National Youth Council of Serbia are based on the common values and principles of its members, while concurrently building understanding and respect for diversity among member organizations.
In order to ensure its quality performance National Youth Council of Serbia and its members are committed to:
- Respect for the human rights of all young people, regardless of their gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious and political affiliation, sexual orientation, social status, functional disabilities, gender identity and/or expression;
- Democracy and active participation of young people, especially respecting the commitment, enthusiasm and voluntary participation;
- Action based on data collected through research and analysis;
- Openness to information, ideas and energy of member organizations;
- Lifelong learning through the affirmation of knowledge, responsible management of acquired knowledge and experience and continuous capacity development of member organizations;
- Equality of organizations and activists through respect for the basic principles of individuality: the right to self-defining, self-identification and self-expression;
- Transparency of actions towards membership and the wider public;
- Accountability among member organizations, towards young people, state institutions and donors;
- Application of the co-management concept in the development of cross-sectoral partnerships and cooperation, and especially in decision-making in the processes of creation and implemention of public policies in order to ensure the influence of young people;
- Intercultural dialogue of young people through encouragment of the readiness of young people to understand and respect diversity.