While many young people today consider war as a major concern, most respondents of a survey done by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are more concerned about corruption.
The ICRC has released in Geneva on Jan. 16, the result of a global survey on youth attitudes toward war and other social concerns.
Also, on top of young people’s concerns reflected in the survey is unemployment, with 52 percent of respondents considering it as the most important concern.
Rounding up the rest of the 12 concerns were increasing poverty (47 percent), terrorism (47 percent), war and conflict (45 percent), poor health care (41 percent), weak economy (41 percent), global warming (40 percent), natural disasters (33 percent), poor access to education (32 percent), increasing migration (27 percent), and nuclear weapons (24 percent).
Commissioned by the ICRC, the survey sought to explore the views of millennials regarding conflict, the future of warfare, and the values that form the basis for international humanitarian law, such as the use of torture against enemy combatants.
The 16,000 respondents — all millennials aged 20 to 35 — came from 16 countries and territories that are either at peace or affected by war and conflict, including Afghanistan, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, and Nigeria.
Young people from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States were also included in the survey.
An ICRC press statement said the survey result indicates that millennials are nervous about the future, and heightened tensions globally are likely to deepen these fears.
“A plurality of respondents, 47 percent, think it’s more likely than not that there will be a third world war in their lifetime,” read an ICRC statement.
Although 84 percent believe the use of nuclear weapons is never acceptable, 54 percent believe it is more likely than not that a nuclear attack will occur in the next decade.
“This millennial foreboding may reflect an increase in polarization and dehumanizing rhetoric,” said ICRC president Peter Maurer in a statement.
The ICRC expressed concern that 37 percent believe torture is acceptable under some circumstances — even after the U.N. convention banning torture is explained to them.
Up to 15 percent believe that military commanders should do whatever it takes to win a war, regardless of the civilian casualties generated.
The good news is that 74 percent of millennials surveyed believe that wars are avoidable, and nearly the same number (75 percent) think that there must be limits on how wars are fought.
Respondents from conflict-torn countries led others in rejecting weapons of mass destruction.
In Syria, most respondents said nuclear and chemical weapons are not acceptable and that captured enemy fighters should be allowed to contact their relatives.