We Pay Our Interns Charter
This year, 2016, some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Geneva came together having realised that promoting human rights worldwide should begin with basic human rights within their own structures. One such issue is that of not paying interns… As a result of this, they started promoting a basic pay (stipend) for their interns thought the We Pay Our Interns Charter.
“There is no justification whatsoever that could support any structure working towards the improvement of human rights that does not pay its interns.” Such a situation prevents those from lower socio-economic backgrounds from doing internships in International Organisations (IOs), particularly those in foreign countries. This is fundamentally contrary to the most basic human values.
Signatories of the charter vow to pay a minimum financial aid equivalent to CHF 500 for full-time internships — this financial aid can include “in-kind contributions, such as food, accommodation, transportation or any other means of support”. Twenty-nine NGOs have signed up to the charter, including Save the Children, World YMCA, Peace Watch Switzerland, Care International, Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) and Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The Geneva Interns Association would like to add its support to the We Pay Our Interns charter. Similarly the Fair Internship Initiative – Geneva has expressed the same sentiment, stressing that as Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with very high living costs which can amount to CHF 1800-CHF 2200 per month NGOs may need to consider increasing this financial aid to at least match this standard.