UN Youth Volunteers Programme

For young Swiss graduates, UN Youth Volunteer positions are an attractive opportunity to start a career in international cooperation. They provide solid field experience and networking opportunities that may lead to further employment with the UN.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) finances around 20 UN Youth Volunteer (UNYVUN Youth Volunteers ) positions per year. These offer Swiss graduates an opportunity to gain a first professional experience with the UN at the field level. 

UN Youth Volunteers work in areas such as peace and security, international development, human rights or humanitarian affairs. They further support the United Nations Volunteers (UNVUN Volunteers ) programme in promoting volunteerism and working towards sustainable development.

Employment conditions

UN Youth Volunteer assignments last for 12 months and are not extendable. Depending on the needs and available funding of the organisation, UNYVs may be subsequently employed as UNVUN Volunteers specialists or under a different modality.

UNYVs receive a so-called Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA), medical insurance and defrayment for travel and other expenses.

Requirements
Requirements

To be eligible for a UN Youth Volunteer position sponsored by the Swiss Government, you must:

  • Hold a Swiss passport
  • Be maximum 28 years old at the moment of application
  • Hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field
  • Have no more than one year of professional experience abroad
  • Have excellent command of English and active knowledge of two official Swiss languages. Other languages are requested as specified in the job description.
  • Demonstrate interest in international cooperation, development, human rights, peace promotion or humanitarian affairs

For more information on conditions and requirements, see the factsheet and FAQs.

Application
Application

The annual recruitment process for Swiss UN Youth Volunteer positions is conducted by cinfo.

The positions are advertised on our website and social media each year in August, and the first screening and interviews take place in October.

The final selection is made by the UN based on cinfo's recommendation.

Successful candidates are usually notified of their selection by early December and expected to start their assignment in February/March the following year.

My assignment gave me an idea of development work and the UN and helped me decide whether to stay in international cooperation or not.

Swiss UN Youth Volunteer, 2007

Sample Job Descriptions

Career perspectives

Despite their fixed-term nature, UNYV assignments are an excellent opportunity for young, upcoming and motivated development workers to start a career in international cooperation.

This was revealed by an evaluation conducted by cinfo in 2014 based on the survey answers of former UNYVs:

Two years after their assignment, 30% of UN Youth Volunteers still worked at the UN, and more than 80% in international cooperation.

Testimonials of former UN Youth Volunteers

Other testimonials

  • Julia Moser, former UN Youth Volunteer for UNHCRUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  in Sri Lanka
  • Omar Azzabi, former UN Youth Volunteer for OHCHROffice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  in Senegal
  • Amanda Eyer, former UN Youth Volunteer for UN-Habitat in Ecuador

 

Online Volunteering

Become active in development cooperation at a distance through UNV's Online Volunteering Service!

Support for Swiss nationals

cinfo offers additional services and information exclusively for Swiss nationals.

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