Belgium: Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships

European Youth Forum

(European Youth Forum, 2017)

In a milestone in the fight against unpaid internships, today (12th May) the European Youth Forum lodges a legal complaint on the issue of unpaid internships in Belgium.

The complaint aims to challenge and ultimately change Belgian legislation, seeking a legal decision that will set a precedent across Europe and beyond to make this unfair and discriminatory practice illegal.

Currently Belgium has the highest percentage of unpaid interns in the EU, with only 1 in 5 (18%) being paid for work. One focus of the complaint is on the “stage bénévolat” or voluntary internship offered to young people after their studies, which are often used to replace entry-level jobs. The complaint argues that unpaid internships are in violation of the right to fair remuneration as well as the right of children and young persons to protection as defined in the European Social Charter.

The Youth Forum’s complaint comes a week after the EU Commission’s European Youth Week, where events were held across the continent to discuss and celebrate the contribution of young people in society. However, the use of young Europeans as cheap or free labour is a problem that needs to be tackled urgently, as employers continue to exploit youth at a time when 1 in 3 young people are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, making youth the most at risk age group.

There is a growing pressure on international institutions as well as national governments to end the practice of unpaid internships as they are inaccessible to young people that do not have the financial means to support themselves. The European Youth Forum has already set out a European Quality Charter for Internships and Apprenticeships, urging Member States to adopt regulations to ensure that providers of internships commit to quality standards and decent pay for internships.

Zuzana Vaneckova, Board Member of the European Youth Forum:

“Unpaid internships must be banned once and for all. They are a prime example of inequality, providing opportunities only to those who have the financial means and shutting everyone else out. In an era of high youth unemployment they are simply inexcusable and only serve to further marginalise young people, who have been the first to suffer from the economic crisis and austerity measures. » 

If the complaint submitted today is accepted and validated by the European Committee of Social Rights, then it has the potential to transform the working conditions for interns, not only in Belgium but also in all other Member States of the Council of Europe. As highlighted by the European Pillar of Social Rights last week, the European Union must do more to combat social exclusion and discrimination. By lodging this complaint, the European Youth Forum hopes this marks a huge step forward towards this goal.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

EU finally to extend sanctions on Russia despite arguments; Greece again in Europe’s spotlight

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Yesterday’s “jokes” and sarcasm by Digital Single Market’s Vice President Ansip on EU member states’ right to protect their telco markets

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

China in My Suburbs

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

The EU-US trade agreement, victim of right-wing extremists and security lunatics

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

EU Summit’s major takeaway: a handkerchief cannot save Greece from austerity

China, forever new adventures

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

GSMA head urges regulators to help Europe regain leadership

EU Summit consumed by the banks

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Medical research: between progress and speculation

The new general election will secure Greece’s position in Eurozone; at least for some time

Worldwide consumer confidence has shot up to its highest level for four years according to a survey of 130 Global Retail leaders

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

The Syrian knot cannot be cut without devastating consequences

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

Amazon, a pair of shoes and my Data Privacy walks away

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

Is it impossible to place the banks under control?

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

Where is heading Putin’s Russia?

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

IMF asks Europe to decide on bank resolutions and the Greek Gordian knot

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s