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Unpaid United Nations intern lived in a tent
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David Hyde, 22, felt fortunate to land an internship with the United Nations, until he discovered the costly irony of his decision.

Swayed by the U.N.s prestige, Hyde accepted a summer position at the organizations Geneva headquarters, leaving his native New Zealand behind. However, his excitement faded when he realized that Geneva is an expensive city. So expensive, in fact, that he couldnt afford housing, local paper Tribune de Genve first reported. He now lives in a tent overlooking Lake Geneva.

I just want to make it clear that no person forced me to sleep in a tent, but rather my circumstances and the conditions for this internship made it the only real possibility that I could see, Hyde told reporters on Wednesday.

To be fair, Hyde admitted that the U.N. warned him about Genevas cost of living during the interview, and that his preliminary budget was not realistic. But the experience has helped him realize that, as far as unpaid internships go, only those whose parents can afford it get a chance."

Hyde said he had hoped for a paid position, and he thinks the work he did deserves pay, but he doesnt want to be seen as a victim. Camping out on the shores of Lake Geneva, he said, is not all that bad, according to the BBC. Still, amid an onslaught on media attention and the unsustainable living conditions, he resigned from the position.

News of Hydes lakeside summer broke a week after the U.N. unveiled its Sustainable Development Goals, major targets that seek to end poverty and ensure food security in every corner of the globe by 2030, The Guardian reported.

This is the peoples agenda, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared during the unveiling of the SDGs, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind.

Unpaid internships are not uncommon. In the United States, employers are currently engaging in a fight over the legality of the free labor arrangement.

In July, a court ruled that interns can remain unpaid so long as the work serves an educational purpose, overturning a previous ruling that found the lack of pay illegal, according to The New York Times. Attention-grabbing cases like Hydes are likely to keep the intern debate going.
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