International Labour Organization

Outline of the organisation

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a UN specialised agency that seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and became the first UN specialised agency in 1946.

The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organise, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work-related issues.

The ILO also promotes the development of independent employers’ and workers’ organisations and provides training and advisory services to those organisations. Within the UN system, the ILO has a unique tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing organs.

Positions available

(1) Internships

Internships with the ILO provide an opportunity for selected undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students who are pursuing a course of study or work in fields related to the ILO's mandate to increase their understanding of relevant issues and gain practical work experience. Interns will be selected based on the needs of the ILO office and those selected will work under the supervision of a senior staff member of the ILO.

Internships usually last between three and six months.

Further information is available here.


In order to be considered for an internship at the ILO, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Education: Applicants should have completed graduate and/or postgraduate studies or be in the final year of undergraduate studies in disciplines considered relevant to the ILO's work, e.g. international law, economics, industrial relations, political science and the social sciences.
  • Nationality: Applicants can be of any nationality.
  • Languages: Applicants should have a working (both oral and written) knowledge of at least one of the ILO's official languages (English, French or Spanish).
  • Skills: Applicants should be able to adapt to an international, multicultural, multilingual environment, have good communication skills, and show an ability to work fairly independently or as part of a team and posses initiative and flexibility.
  • Other: Any past work experience and knowledge of IT-related work would be an advantage.

(2) Junior Professional Officer Programme

The Junior Professional Officer Programme lasts for two to three years and offers on-the-job training opportunities to young professionals, providing them with a unique opportunity to discover the UN system from the inside.

Applicants must have completed either a Bachelor or Masters degree and must have some years of work experience.

Further information is available here.