Access to social protection for young people. Kosovo

Substantial system gaps hamper young people’s access to social protection in Kosovo. These gaps include the total absence of unemployment and sickness insurance benefits for the entire working population, including young people. Other gaps are related to activity status – sick pay and maternity/paternity leave rights are not available to the unemployed, the self-employed, people in most non-standard types of employment, apprentices, and unpaid trainees. The final kind of gap is age-related: minimum-income rights (such as social assistance, social assistance for orphaned/abandoned children, and survivor benefits) involve age-based penalties since they are generally cancelled when a young person reaches 18. The system was designed in the post-war (1999) conditions of a devastated economy and international protectorate and has not been extended and adjusted since then to take into account new social needs and economic developments.