Speed Reads

The price we pay

This unpaid intern at the United Nations has been forced to live in a tent

David Hyde may have landed a coveted gig at the United Nations in Geneva, but his accommodations leave a lot to be desired. As an unpaid intern, the 22-year-old New Zealander can't afford the high cost of rent in Geneva, so he's been forced to sleep in a tent.

While Hyde might have a nice view of Lake Geneva not far from the UN Beach Club, he didn't have adequate protection from a storm that hit recently. "I was perhaps naive in coming here, but this policy [of not paying interns] makes me furious," Hyde told the Tribune de Genève. In trying to figure out how other interns could afford the opportunity, Hyde reached the conclusion, “Finally only those with parents who can pay have a chance.”

The UN and its agencies in Geneva employ an average of 162 interns annually, The Local Switzerland reports, and, as the decision of whether or not to pay interns rests on each agency, an estimated 68.5 percent of interns went unpaid in 2013.