[17 May 2018] The World Health Organization (WHO) announced «with immediate effect, will offer health insurance to all current and future interns in all duty stations». Previously, it stated that “WHO Interns must have adequate medical insurance coverage during the entire period of the internships.”
This is good news for the organization as it was “founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health.” (UN)ironically, WHO has dedicated this year to the theme ‘Health for All.’ Which also happens to be the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 is to “Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.”
Employing around 1,000 interns per year in Geneva, this move will help reduce the financial barriers for current and future interns. Health insurance is mandatory for anyone living in Switzerland, and for many interns it costs them between 200CHF-500CHF per month. This is a positive step in equaling the accessibility issues that unpaid internships cause.
We hope this is one of many more measures to be taken for fair internships in the future, both at the WHO and other organizations.