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Students call for legal protection during internships

Students hold up a banner reading "Protect Us!" at the protest for legal protection for interns, Brussels, Oct 11 (RTBF, screenshot)
10:41 12/10/2020

Around 40 students gathered in front of the government headquarters of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation on Place Surlet de Chokier on Sunday to demand a legal framework on internships.

Carrying large banners with slogans such as “Protect us!”, the students chanted “No more exploitation, we want legislation” before a delegation provided the government with a copy of approximately 200 testimonies received in the form of postcards.

“One in three students gets harassed at their place of internship,” said Chems Mabrouk, president of the Federation of Francophone Students (FEF), who organised the rally. “This is primarily moral harassment, but it can go as far as sexual harassment. So, we have to put things in place to fight all harassment.”

She added: "37% of students told us that they did not feel sufficiently supervised. The minister for higher education (Valérie Glatigny), who is in quarantine, mentioned in a Facebook post that she is committed to proposing a single agreement for internships. We are waiting for a decree to frame all this, because today it is a legal blur.”

The Federation of Francophone Students (FEF) has recently launched a campaign to demand better supervision of student internships. It draws its findings from a survey conducted among some 600 students.

Written by Nick Amies