The Problem of Unpaid Internships: Legal Guide to Complaints Under the European Social Charter

33 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2017 Last revised: 29 Nov 2017

See all articles by Betsy Feuerstein

Betsy Feuerstein

New York University (NYU)

Kevin Khuong

New York University (NYU)

Elizabeth Yazgi

New York University (NYU)

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law

Paige Morrow

ARTICLE 19; University of Kent - Brussels Campus

Date Written: September 4, 2017

Abstract

Young people entering the job market are in a precarious economic position. Across Europe, and in Belgium in particular, those who wish to enter into the professional world are faced with the de facto mandate that in order to gain experience and build the connections that will enable them to find paid professional work in the future, they must complete several internships. Yet many of these internships are unpaid or underpaid, forcing some young people to rely on their savings or their parents and shutting others out of the process entirely.

The European Committee of Social Rights (the “Committee”) accepts collective complaints lodged by non-governmental organisations alleging violations of the European Social Charter (the “Charter”). The EU Public Interest Clinic prepared this draft Complaint for the non-profit organization European Youth Forum, alleging that unpaid internships in Belgium violate the Charter. Specifically, the provisions in Belgian law that enable unpaid internships, and the lack of enforcement of provisions that aim to curtail them, violate Articles 4, 7, and 10 of the Charter, which provide for fair remuneration, the protection of young people, and financial assistance for vocational training, respectively.

Keywords: Council of Europe, human rights, social rights, monitoring mechanism

JEL Classification: J3, J7, J83, J88, K30

Suggested Citation

Feuerstein, Betsy and Khuong, Kevin and Yazgi, Elizabeth and Alemanno, Alberto and Morrow, Paige, The Problem of Unpaid Internships: Legal Guide to Complaints Under the European Social Charter (September 4, 2017). HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2017-1233. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3031947

Betsy Feuerstein

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Kevin Khuong

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Elizabeth Yazgi

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Paige Morrow (Contact Author)

ARTICLE 19 ( email )

60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 1UQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://article19.org

University of Kent - Brussels Campus ( email )

Espace Rolin, Boulevard Louis Schmidt 2A
Brussels 1040
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/staff/profiles/external/morrow.html

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