A majority of young people across the world want to make it easier for immigrants to move to their countries and believe that their governments should do more to solve the global refugee crisis, a new report has found.
In 14 out of 20 countries, those born between 1995 and 2001 – so-called "Generation Z" – wanted to see more migration, including in the UK, where British voters decided to leave the European Union last year and in the US, where Donald Trump won the US election on an anti-immigration ticket.
A total of 43% globally thought that their governments were doing too little to help refugees, compared to 12% who felt they were doing too much.
The results contrast sharply with the slide to the right in politics in both the UK and the US – two of the countries surveyed – as well as in France and Germany, where right wing parties are currently winning support ahead of elections this year.
"At a time of nationalist and populist movements that focus on the differences between people, the evidence shows that young people – whatever their nationality or religion – share a strikingly similar view of the world. There is far more unity among young people than a glance at the headlines would suggest," said Vikas Pota, chief executive of the Varkey Foundation, which commissioned the report.
"Young people are passionate believers in the right to live the life that they choose, whatever their background, free of prejudice of all kinds. [...] They are not strongly influenced by politicians and think that their governments are doing far too little to solve the refugee crisis – one of the greatest challenges of our age," he added.
As well as migration and refugee issues, the survey also covered dozens of other issues, including mental health and gender equality. It found that three-quarters (74%) of young people globally believe that transgender people should have the same rights as non-transgender people.
It also found that support for equal rights was highest in Canada (83%), New Zealand (80%), Argentina (80%) and the UK (80%).
The most optimistic country in the world is China, where 53% say the world is getting better.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of young people (63%) believe that same-sex marriage should be legal, though women are far more likely to be in favour than men (70% vs. 54%).
In India (53%) and South Korea (47%) around a half of young people support same-sex marriage despite the fact that it is currently illegal in those countries.
While young people across the world are far more liberal than their governments on issues of immigration and refugee rights, they share a fear of extremism, conflict and war. A total of 83% of those polled said their biggest concern for the future was extremism and global terrorism, while 81% said conflict and war.
Over 37% of young people believed that the world was getting worse, compared to 20% who think it is getting better. The most pessimistic country in the world is France, with 53% believing things are getting worse. The most optimistic is China, where 53% say it is getting better.
The countries polled were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.