Hardship station

In the context of international organizations, including the European Union (EU), a ‘hardship station’ refers to a duty station or posting location that is classified as having difficult living conditions and/or challenging work environments.

Staff deployed to ‘hardship stations’ typically work for the EEAS, the European External Action Service, and are deployed outside the European Union.

Hardship conditions may be due to factors such as:

  • political instability,
  • extreme climate,
  • high crime rates,
  • health risks,
  • limited medical facilities, or a
  • lack of everyday amenities and services.

To compensate for the increased risks and to incentivize staff to accept assignments in these locations, organizations often provide additional benefits and allowances, known as hardship allowances. These may include extra financial compensation, additional leave, and support for family and educational concerns.

The classification of hardship stations and the corresponding allowances are typically determined by a set of criteria established by the organization and are designed to ensure that staff are adequately supported while serving in these challenging posts.

The United Nations, for example, classifies duty stations into various hardship categories, which are then used to determine the level of hardship allowance payable to international staff deployed there.

The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) provides a framework for this classification, which many international organizations, including EU external action bodies, may use as a reference for their own policies.





  1. Hello, Could you, please, refer to the recruitment entity for AMLA? Is it going to be managed through the parent…

  2. Your BB status should not affect eligibilty for the DSA, even if you temporarily lived in the location of your…

Wijngaardstraat 10
Zaventem, Brussels, B-1932