Will Plowright

Will Plowright is currently completing a PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. He is also a Liu scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Affairs at UBC, and a Consultant with the Child Soldiers Initiative. Will’s area of speciality is the politics of insurgency and the negotiation of humanitarian access in on-going conflict zones, with a secondary specialization on the use of child soldiers and other aspects of international humanitarian law. He has completed research with armed groups in a number of ongoing conflict zones, including work and interviews in Uganda with the Lord’s Resistance Army; in Syria with the Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda, and the Free Syrian Army; as well as others in Palestine, Haiti, South Sudan, and Myanmar. Additionally, Will has 6 years of experience in various aspects of humanitarian delivery in conflict and disaster zones across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, in areas including human resource management and in the role of civil-military liaison.

Will has 10 years experience working in disaster and conflict-affected areas, and this frames his research on the use of child soldiers by armed groups. His PhD questions whether armed groups have concerns over legitimacy and the norm prohibiting the use of child soldiers. To complete this research, Will conducted research with several dozen armed groups in 13 countries, focussing on cases in Syria and Myanmar. Additionally, Will is an experienced humanitarian, working with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) as a project manager, most recently in Afghanistan and the Central African Republic.