Some 54% of millennials (generation born between 1980 and the late 1990s) are convinced that a nuclear attack will occur during the decade, according to an investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) published Thursday.
However, 84% of those interviewed believe that the use of nuclear weapons is in no way acceptable, and 54% believe that these weapons should be banned.
In this survey commissioned by the ICRC, 16,000 millennials (20 to 35 years old) from 16 different countries – half of them in conflict situations – express their point of view on wars and international humanitarian law.
“For millennials, there is a real risk that a devastating war will take place during their lifetime,” said ICRC president Peter Maurer in the survey’s summary report.
“It is alarming to note that almost half of the people questioned think that a third world war will break out during their existence, while a majority is convinced that a nuclear attack will occur in the next ten years”, there.
The survey reveals “disturbing trends, which reflect a lack of respect for the fundamental human values enshrined in international law”, according to the ICRC.
Thus, 37% of those questioned consider that torture is acceptable in certain circumstances, even after having received explanations on the United Nations Convention against Torture.
And 15% believe that combatants should use all means to achieve their objectives, regardless of the civilian casualties.
However, the ICRC finds it “encouraging” to find that 74% of millennials believe that wars can be avoided.