As some of you may have read in the press, the United Nations is failing its interns. When young people are expected to work for no pay in cities like New York and Geneva, the UN internship program clearly discriminates against those who cannot afford to work for free.
In light of the ongoing youth unemployment crisis, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on countries to make youth and youth employment issues a priority.
Despite his organization's good intentions, the United Nations fails to recognize the importance of its own interns, thousands of which contribute their energy and passion for no pay. Given the high cost of living in key UN cities, such as New York and Geneva, undertaking a UN internship is an experience that few can afford, especially those from the very developing countries the organization strives to serve.
Young people face insurrmontable difficulties in finding work all over the world, with some areas experiencing youth unemployment rates of over 50%. After working hard towards achieving a good education, young people now find themselves stuck in a Catch-22: without experience, they can't find jobs; yet without a job, they can't gain experience.
Internships have become a vital way to help bridge this divide. Unfortunately, internships have also become an easy way for organizations to access free labor. It is troubling that the United Nations, an organization that stands for equality and justice, is no exception.
To live up to its ideals and set an example for the world, the United Nations should make a commitment to provide fair compensation to its interns, ensuring that future leaders receive the financial support they need and deserve.
Tell the UN that young people matter by signing this petition.
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