January 25, 2022 5:20 pm

UNICEF: Unlike their elders, young people think the world is becoming a better place

Children and young people are almost 50% more likely than the elderly to believe that with the passage of each generation the world becomes a better place, according to a new international survey by UNICEF and the Gallup consulting and analysis company published on the occasion of World Children’s Day which is celebrated on November 20.

Research also shows that young people are more likely to believe that childhood itself has improved, and an overwhelming majority believe that childhood Healthcare, education and physical safety are better for today’s children than for their parents’ generation.

Despite being optimistic, young people are far from naive, since express their concern about actions against climate change, their skepticism about the information they consume on social media, and their struggle with feelings of depression and anxiety.

They are much more likely to see themselves as citizens of the world than older people, and more likely to support international cooperation to deal with threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNICEF Executive Director stressed that despite climate change, the pandemic, poverty and inequality, increasing mistrust and growing nationalism, “children and youth refuse to see the world through the dark lens. of adults “.

Henrietta Fore added that “Compared to previous generations, the world’s youth continue to have hope, a much more global mindset and are determined to make the world a better place. Today’s youth have concerns for the future, but they see themselves as part of the solution“.

A global and multigenerational survey

Survey The Changing Chldhood Project, is the first research of its kind where several generations are asked their opinion about the world and what it is like to be a child today.

The study had the participation of more than 21,000 people in two age ranges (the first between 15 and 24 years; and the second, 40 years or more) in 21 countries from all regions of the planet.

The data collected paint a picture of the young generations as a product of globalization. For example, the percentage of young people (39%) who tend to identify with being a citizen of the world more than with their own nation is, on average, almost double that of the elderly (22%).

The survey also reveals that children and young people tend to rely more on national governments, scientists and the international media as sources of accurate information.

However, they are also aware of the problems facing the world:

  • Most young women perceive serious risks for children on the Internet associated with violent or sexually explicit content (78%) or bullying (79%).
  • Only 17% of young people say they trust “a lot” in social networks as a source of accurate information.
  • While 64% of young people in low- and middle-income countries believe that children in their country will be better off financially than their parents, those in high-income countries have little faith in economic progressLess than a third of those surveyed say that today’s children will grow up better off than their parents.
  • More than a third of young people say they often feel nervous or anxious, and almost one in five say they often feel depressed or have little interest in doing things.
  • 59% of young people say that today’s children face more pressure to succeed than their parents did growing up.

More international cooperation is lacking

The consultation also concludes that young people want faster progress in the fight against discrimination, more cooperation between countries and that decision-makers listen to them:

  • Almost three-quarters of young people sensitized to climate change believe that governments should take important steps to address it. The proportion is even higher in low- and lower-middle-income countries (83%), where the impact of climate change is expected to be greatest.
  • In almost all the countries surveyed, a large majority of young people say that their countries would be safer from threats such as COVID-19 if governments worked in coordination with other countries rather than on their own.
  • Young people demonstrate greater support for LGBTQ + rights, and young women lead the fight for equality.
  • On average, 58% of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 believe that it is very important that political leaders listen to children.

World Children’s Day, which is celebrated every year on November 20, aims to raise awareness of the millions of children who are denied the right to adequate health care, nutrition, education and education. protection, and making the voice of young people heard as fundamental in any debate about their future.

Reference-news.un.org

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