No more-unpaid internships at EEAS Delegations: A victory for youth rights!

06. 07. 2017

The European Youth Forum gladly welcomes the decision of the European External Action Service (EEAS) to start paying its interns in its Delegations from 2018. This puts an end to discriminatory practice within one of the EU institutions and paves the way for other EU and international institutions to do the same!

The EEAS recognises that unpaid internships are not accessible to all, they discriminate against young people on the basis of their socio-economic situation, widening further inequalities between young people and between generations within the EU. When one in three young people are at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU, it is not acceptable to use young people as cheap or free labour across the globe. This decision of the EEAS follows the recommendation from the European Ombudswoman and the demand of interns and youth organisations across the world for quality internships. The European Youth Forum calls for the EU to lead on the fight against unpaid internships at the global level. It is essential that institutions that portray themselves as global leaders are an example to be followed.

Luis Alvarado, President of the European Youth Forum comments:

The Youth Forum thanks Federica Mogherini for listening to young people and taking a step towards abolishing unpaid internships. This sends a strong signal to the European institutions, the Council of Europe and the UN – when will they follow her example?

The EU should also push Member States to stop discriminatory practices that allow the use of young people as cheap labour. They must respect of the rights of young people as enshrined in the European Youth Forum’s Charter on Quality Internships and Apprenticeships.

The fight against unpaid internships continues, the Youth Forum is waiting for the result of its legal action against Belgian to ban unpaid internships( and is determined to make Youth rights a reality. We are still waiting for a response from the Belgian government – the clock is ticking until 10th August deadline.

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