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ILO Internships

Internship Programs

ILO Internships

Paid Internships

The ILO Internship Program aims to build future leaders engaged in work-related issues, committed to a world with less social injustice. Therefore, the goal of this internship program is to provide those interested in international development with a better understanding of the ILO’s daily work, thus promoting practical experience in fighting injustice at work. Interns will have the opportunity to learn directly from senior management capable of inspiring and motivating them to progress in their careers.


In pursuit of its mission, the OpenIGO network has prepared a comprehensive eBook and support and guidance services, with the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in these competitive processes. These services include revising your UN internships application documents (curriculum vitae/resume and cover letter) and a mock interview, as per the United Nations model. We also offer a range of packages that combine the eBook with different services.


UN Internships – Products & Services

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UN Internships – PDF eBook

Organization overview

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose aims are to promote the rights and social protection of workers worldwide, encourage decent employment opportunities and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO is the only tripartite UN agency, made up of governments, employers and workers. Currently, the organization has 187 member states and its headquarters are in Geneva (Switzerland).

ILO’s main focus: To promote the rights of workers.

Themes addressed by the ILO: The ILO addresses different work-related issues, such as:

  • Child Labour
  • Collective bargaining and labour relations
  • Cooperatives
  • Disability and work
  • Domestic workers
  • Equality and discrimination
  • Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery
  • Freedom of association
  • Future of work
  • Green jobs
  • Labour law
  • Labour inspection and administration
  • Labour migration
  • Maritime Labour Convention
  • Safety and health at work
  • Skills, Knowledge and Employability
  • Social protection
  • Tripartism and social dialogue
  • Working conditions
  • Youth employment

Description of the ILO internship

What are the fields of study required for the ILO Internship?
This internship program includes students and recent graduates from the most diverse fields of knowledge. The areas of study with the highest demand in this program are:

  • Business
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Other related area

What are the tasks performed by the selected for the ILO Internship?
The activities performed vary according to the opening and the requirements of the different departments to which interns are allocated. However, generally speaking, the main duties are:

  • Carry out research on topics relevant to the agency’s activities;
  • Write and review articles, documents and publications;
  • Provide operational and administrative support;
  • Help organize events and conferences;
  • Take part in training sessions with other staff members.

What is the duration of the ILO Internship?
The internship period ranges from at least 3 months to up to 6 months at most.

What is the weekly workload of the ILO Internship?
There are openings for part-time e fulltime (40 hours per week) internships. However, that most internships do take place on a full-time basis.

Where are the locations of the ILO Internship?
Most openings are for ILO headquarters in Switzerland, but there are also limited opportunities in its Regional Offices.

Regional/Country Offices: Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, Arab States, Europe, Washington and New York.

When does the ILO Internship start?
Internships start on the 1st or 15th of each month (or the day after if it happens to be a non-working day).

Is there any feedback following the completion of the ILO Internship?
At the end of the internship, the supervisor is in charge of preparing an assessment report of the intern’s performance.

Subsequent employment:
Participation in the internship is not related to future employment with the agency. However, after the program you will be eligible to apply for or be appointed to any effective position in the organization. The ILO Internship experience will be a distinctive feature in your curriculum, which may facilitate your hiring by other organizations inside or outside the UN System.

ILO Internship Salary

In case an intern is not supported by an institution (university, government or other institution), a stipend to cover basic subsistence costs will be paid by the ILO.

An ILO internship stipend worth 2.245 CHF is paid on a monthly basis for those whose internship takes place at the Headquarters in Geneva and who do not have additional financial support from an external institution. The amount differs if the intern is doing an internship in a field office (another location that is not the headquarters).

Offices located in the United States, for example, typically pay between $ 12 and $ 13 per hour.

ILO Internship Requirements

What is the education requirement of the ILO Internship Program?

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school program (Master’s or PhD), or;
  • Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate course in the last 12 months.

What is the language requirement of the ILO Internship Program?
Working knowledge (oral and written) is required in at least one of the ILO’s three official languages (English, French or Spanish).

What is the age requirement of the ILO Internship Program?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of enrolment.

What is the nationality requirement of the ILO Internship Program?
Priority will be given to applicants from ILO member states.

What are the competencies required for the ILO Internship Program?
The main competencies required are:

  • Be able to adapt and be interested in an international, multicultural, multilingual environment;
  • You need to be able to work independently as well as part of a team;
  • Showing initiative and be flexible;
  • Having excellent communication skills.

Other requirements of the ILO Internship Program:
Most internships require no work experience. However, any past work experience and knowledge of IT-related work would be an advantage.

What are the restrictions of the ILO Internship Program?

  • An applicant may not be a child or sibling of a ILO staff member;
  • Interns shall not be accepted as substitutes for actual UNDP staff;
  • An applicant may not have already participated in the Internship programme previously.

ILO Internship - Application process

When to apply for the ILO Internship Program?
Each year the ILO announces a limited number of internship openings, which are posted every six months, in January and June. Only three applicants are selected in each of these recruitment periods.

There are also some openings for specific Regional Offices, which must be applied for directly with each office:

Africa: Mr. Nicolas Lopez-Armand: lopez@ilo.org

Latin America and the Caribbean: lim_interns@ilo.org

Asia and the Pacific: Regional HR Unit: bkk_hr@ilo.org

Arab States: Mr. Anser Qureshi: qureshi@ilo.org

Europe: applications to be sent via the roster

ILO-Washington: Jobs and Internships at Washington ILO

New York: newyork@ilo.org

How to apply for the ILO Internship Program?
The ILO internship recruitment process is done via the ILO E-recruitment System, where all openings are published, and comprises the following steps:

  • Initial registration;
  • Filling out the candidate profile (academic and professional background);
  • Search for an opening in your field of interest;
  • Submit the application.

What are the phases of the selection process for the ILO Internship?
The recruitment process may vary depending on the department or office to which the intern is applying, but generally comprises the following steps:

  1. Creating a profile and preparing an application;
  2. Submitting the application;
  3. Evaluation of the application;
  4. Competency-based interview;
  5. Selection notifications.

How is the ILO Internship interview?
Usually, only selected applicants will be contacted for the interview, which lasts about 30 minutes and may be done via phone. The main points covered in the interview vary according to the opening and department chosen. In general, however, the questions address subjective or behavioral aspects, such as your expectations about the job, your interests in the area of expertise you are applying for and your previous experiences.

What are the documents to submit for the ILO Internship Program?
The Washington Regional Office requires a sample of the applicant’s writing skills, stating his or her reasons for choosing the agency. This document should be sent to the e-mail: washington@ilo.org.

What is the evaluation criteria of the ILO Internship Program?
You will be evaluated regarding your previous experience, skills and competencies, and educational background.

ILO Internship - Costs

The organization offers no financial aid to cover costs related to preparing for or doing the internship. However, you may request financial aid from a sponsoring institution, for example, a university and/or government agency in your country.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of obtaining the visa (if needed to do the internship).

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs of enrolling in a valid global medical insurance plan.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for accommodation expenses during the internship period.

You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of the trip to the workplace to which you have been assigned.

Other organizations

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