How to get Paid internships in the UN?

We received hundreds of requests for paid internships. Unfortunately, some years ago the United Nations implemented not very sufficient policy that internships are not paid anymore. We disagree with such statements and requires because every job and internship should be paid. OK, the payment shouldn’t be high because of the nature of the internship, but it must cover basics needs for a specified location like accommodation, insurance, transport plus some small additional money for daily spending. Also, internships payment should differ for various locations because the cost of living in Geneva and Congo are very different.

It leads to the situation that young people who can’t afford to get free internship couldn’t even dream about UN values.

Last year the situation is changed a little bit. Here is you may find a list of NGOs that joint initiative to provide paid internships. Also sometimes you may find paid internships in some UN agencies like:

UNICEF (partly paid).

WFP – World Food Programme

International Organization for Migration

ILO – International Labour Organization


As of 2021, the United Nations began offering stipends for internships across its agencies. The amount of the stipend varies depending on the agency and the location of the internship, as living costs differ across countries and cities.

In general, the stipend aims to cover basic living expenses such as accommodation, meals, and local transportation. The UN does not typically provide additional financial support for travel or visa expenses.

To get an accurate idea of the stipend amount for a specific internship, visit the website of the respective UN agency or refer to the internship posting, which should include information on the stipend and any additional benefits provided.

Keep in mind that stipends may be subject to change, so always confirm the details with the agency during the application process.

It’s important to note that stipend amounts for internships within the United Nations agencies are subject to change and depend on the agency, the location of the internship, and the associated living expenses. Here are some examples based on information available at the time of writing, but keep in mind that these figures may not be current or universally applicable:

  1. United Nations Headquarters (New York, USA): Interns at the UN Headquarters in New York might receive a monthly stipend of around $1,000 to cover basic living expenses such as housing, food, and local transportation.
  2. World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland): Interns at WHO in Geneva could expect a stipend of approximately CHF 1,600 (Swiss Francs) per month, which is roughly equivalent to $1,750.
  3. United Nations Development Programme (Bangkok, Thailand): Interns at the UNDP in Bangkok might receive a monthly stipend of around THB 12,000 (Thai Baht), which is approximately $360, to cover basic living costs.

Please note that these examples should not be considered definitive, as stipend amounts may vary across different UN agencies and locations, and may change over time. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information on stipend amounts for specific internships, visit the website of the respective UN agency or check the internship posting.

If you know some other UN agencies who provide paid/partly paid internships please share with us

If you would like to get notices about paid internships daily, we have great news for you! Our partners develop a web site that devoted initiative to provide paid internships, scholarships, traineeships. They are collecting all paid internships and publish them on the web recourse Pay Your Interns Foundation from different UN agencies and NGOs like Amnesty International, Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and so on.

Daily, they are looking for paid internships and published them on the web site, also they publish paid traineeships and jobs for young professionals. So there is no need anymore to spend a time and try to find in internship announcement the word about reimbursement. Everything is already done. It’s a great job.

For students and graduates, you will be happy to find fully paid scholarships, publication of Erasmus programs, master programs and LLM in Human Rights area. It could really help to implement your dream to become a Human Rights lawyer, Gender equality specialist.

The Independent publish a very good article on this topic. Every year, the UN plays host to thousands of interns around the world. Yet the majority receive no pay and have inadequate access to basic employment rights. Access to sufficient funds remains an unspoken requirement for internship eligibility at the UN, thus excluding many candidates based on their background. This shouldn’t be happening in 2019. It should be a given that internships are awarded on merit, without contingency on financial status.

This is a problem that extends far beyond the UN; it’s estimated that across Europe over 3 million young people a year work as unpaid interns (equivalent to the entire workforce of Denmark).

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July 2024