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UN's Post About Hiring A Malaysian Intern To Work Full Time For Free Prompts Anger

The unpaid internship is for six months.

Cover image via Wikimedia & UNSD

A job listing by the United Nations (UN) says that they are looking to hire a Malaysian for a Programme Management internship without pay

According to the job listing, which was posted on the UN's official LinkedIn account on 10 September, the unpaid internship is for six months and is full time with the intern required to operate off-site.

"No travel requests will be approved, either as part of onboarding or during the tenure of internship," it reads.

The call for an unpaid intern has prompted anger among netizens

They called out the intergovernmental organisation for perpetuating the exploitative labour practice.

"The biggest group impacted by urban policies are the urban poor. But to get the opportunity to work on these policies with the UN, candidates need to be from a rich enough family that can support them during their UNPAID internship. I feel that this is quite shameful. After all, what is RM500 a month for the UN?" a journalist for The Star, Dina Murad, wrote on her Facebook profile today, 11 September.

"It is my firm belief that interns should be paid a decent wage, but I'm using RM500 as a benchmark because it is what some small businesses are paying their interns at the moment," she added.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, a journalist for Malaysiakini echoed Dina's sentiment.

Another person accused the UN of being a scam.

"The UN doesn't pay its interns. How ironic that the UN exists to protect human rights, fight inequality, and empower the marginalised. I don't think these interns are paid equally for their labour," remarked a person.

On the other hand, a Twitter user said that different UN agencies have different policies and that they do pay their interns

In August last year, the paid internship allowance for interns undergoing practical training in ministries, government departments, and agencies was increased from RM1.60 an hour to RM5:

Read more on the topic of internships here: