But both surveys reveal worrying trends that point to a lack of respect for the basic human values underlying the laws of war.
- 41 percent of global millennials say torture is acceptable in some circumstances
- 27 percent of Australians and 30 percent of Australian millennials say it is acceptable to torture a captured enemy fighter, even though this is expressly prohibited under international law
“It is alarming to find that more Australians believe it is acceptable to torture enemy soldiers than when we asked this question three years ago,” says Ms Zegenhagen.
The ICRC also found 36 percent of millennials believe captured enemy combatants should not be allowed to contact their relatives, a basic right under IHL. For those impacted by conflict, however, the numbers shift dramatically with 85 percent of Syrians saying captured enemy combatants should be allowed to contact their relatives.
In Mosul, in northern Iraq, this woman cares for her 22 orphaned grandchildren alone. Four of her sons were killed in the war and the remaining two were kidnapped. Photo: ICRC/Khalid Hawre