Our Team 

Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE is the Founder and Chair of 5Rights. She is a Crossbench member of the House of Lords and sits on the Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee. She is a Commissioner for UNESCO's Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development where she is a member of the Working Group on Child Online Safety; a member of Unicef's AI group; and sits on the Council on Extended Intelligence.

Erin Lavelle is the Operations Manager at 5Rights. Previously, Erin has worked in operations and employee communications within large and small corporates while also supporting various charities in London, Singapore and the US. 

Jay Harman is the Policy Lead at 5Rights. He was Campaigns Manager at Humanists UK leading on children’s rights and education issues, before working as a Senior Policy and Research Officer at Barnardos focusing on child online safety. Jay has been an advisory group member of the Sex Education Forum, and a steering group member of the Accord Coalition, who work towards more inclusive education.

Joanna Slattery is a Project Coordinator at 5Rights. Before joining, Joanna worked in Eco-Finance exploring community financing for climate change, and volunteered for Street Child and Resolve International. She holds a Masters degree in Human Rights from University College London.

Manpreet Singh is a Researcher at 5Rights. Previously, Manpreet worked on the Verification of Children Online (VoCo) project as a proposition report writer, and volunteered as a Data Support Intern with Standing Together Against Domestic Violence. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Legal and Political Theory from University College London.

Natasha Jetha is a Project Co-ordinator at 5Rights. She has an extensive policy background and has successfully led on a number projects and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire and Independent Age. In the past, Natasha has worked for the NSPCC and was a volunteer counsellor for Childline.

Nicola White is the Executive Assistant to Baroness Kidron. She was a part of the production team for the film, Victoria & Abdul (produced by Kidron), and has been involved in 5Rights since its inception in 2014. Previously, she worked at Tiger Aspect Productions. 

Robert Posner is the Director of Operations at 5Rights. Robert was Chief Executive at the Anne Frank Trust, has also engaged in consultancy for a range of charitable organisations, and sits as a Trustee on the Board of the Brain Tumour Charity.

Dr Rys Farthing is Director of Partnerships at 5Rights. Rys has worked for NGOs in Australia, the US and UK, with a focus on realising children and young people’s rights. She has been involved in a number of charity start-ups and complex restructures. She is a former academic and has held posts at the University of Oxford, and RMIT University.

Tony Stower is the Director of External Engagement at 5Rights. He has a background in complex policy development and communication in the public sector and most recently led work at the NSPCC to keep children safe online.

Dr Victoria Jaynes is a Policy Officer at 5Rights. Victoria has a background in qualitative research, with expertise in young people’s experiences of social media, first as a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Leeds, then as a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex.

Ephraim Luwemba is an Intern at 5Rights. He is currently enrolled as a PhD student in the University of Nottingham’s Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training. His time working within the Digital Marketing industry caused him to question the uses of personal Data on the web, leading him to Horizon. His PhD work focuses on creating and testing guidelines for child-centred information systems.  


Dr Anna Gekoski is a consultant, researcher and writer, who specialises in qualitative trauma-focused research. Her research interests include cybercrime, hate speech, revenge pornography, image based abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment and assault, homicide, victims of crime, mental health and secondary victimisation. Anna is currently a visiting lecturer at Middlesex University and the University of Hertfordshire. 

Gerison Lansdown is a member of the UNCRC General Comment’s Steering Group. Gerison was the founding Director of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England. She is now an international children’s rights consultant and advocate, and has published and lectured widely on the subject of children’s rights.

Professor Julia Davidson PhD is influential in shaping 5Rights’ work around online child protection. Julia is Professor of Criminology at the University of East London, and is Director of the newly formed Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit. She is one of the UK’s foremost experts on policy, practice and offending in the area of young people, cybercrime and cyber victimisation. 

Jutta Croll is a member of the UNCRC General Comment’s Steering Group. Jutta is Chairperson of the Board of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen. She project manages child protection and children’s rights in the digital world on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Patrick Geary JD is a Child Rights Consultant at 5Rights. He previously worked for UNICEF as a Children’s Rights and Business Specialist, Save the Children Sweden, and was the Legal Coordinator for the Child Rights International Network. He studied Psychology (BA) before graduating from Yale Law School, and began his career with international law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE is a member of the UNCRC General Comment’s Steering Group. Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published twenty books on media audiences, media literacy, and media regulation, with a particular focus on the opportunities and risks of digital media for children and young people.

Board of Trustees

Dr Amani Abou-Zeid is the African Union Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure, Energy, ICT & Tourism, with over 30 years’ work experience in Africa. Egyptian national, she has a BSc in Telecommunications Engineering; an MBA in project management; a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard School of Government; and a PhD in Social and Economic Development from The University of Manchester, UK. Dr Abou-Zeid was decorated Wissam Al Alawi by HM King Mohamed VI of Morocco and selected one of "The 50 Most Influential Women in Africa". She joined global leaders as Commissioner to the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development as well as the Global Commission on energy. 

“Our children have the right to a safe present and a bright future. In this digital age, we need to work together to provide them with adequate digital literacy and a safe cyberspace.”

Dr. Ansgar Koene is Global AI Ethics and Regulatory Leader at EY where he supports the AI Lab’s Policy activities on “Trust & AI”. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute of the University of Nottingham, and Chairs the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Working Group on a Standard for Algorithmic Bias Considerations. He collaborated with 5Rights on the project “The Internet on Our Own Terms”, where young people aged 12 - 17 participated in deliberative juries to put the internet ‘on trial’.

“As an academic researcher working on issues of data ethics and ethical uses of algorithmic systems, working with 5Rights has provided invaluable insights into the experiences of children and young people online.  5Rights takes a rigorous evidence-based approach to supporting the rights of children and young people online, by listening to their voices and recognising their diversity.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC is a leading barrister and expert in human rights law issues and civil liberties. She is a member of the House of Lords and chairperson of Justice. She has acted in prominent legal cases including the Brighton Hotel Bombing, Michael Bettany espionage and the Guildford Four appeal. She also played a crucial role in getting a Human Rights Act into Labour’s 1997 manifesto and into statute. She was chair of the British Council for six years. As Principle of Mansfield College, Oxford, she established a human rights institute, to increase public and academic understanding of the field.

“5Rights is a vital and brilliant new NGO addressing the whole issue of ethical standards on the Internet with regard to children. I am so proud to be involved.”

Louise Macdonald is Chief Executive of Young Scot, the multi award-winning youth information and citizenship charity. There are currently 670,000 members of Young Scot – over two thirds of young people in Scotland.  Louise is the Independent Chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls, and on the Board of the Scottish Parliament think tank Scotland’s Futures Forum. In 2016, Louise and Young Scot, in partnership with 5Rights, launched the 5Rights Youth Commission in Scotland. The Youth Commission was made up of 30 11-19 year olds, and convened at the beginning of 2018 for their second term.

“Since its very beginning, the 5Rights campaign has sought to redress the balance for young people in this rapidly evolving digital world through the lens of a rights-based approach. There has been excellent work done so far, including the 5Rights Youth Commission in Scotland, but that is just the start. Our children and young people must be empowered, and any abuse of their rights online called out and tackled at root cause.”

Manuel Costescu is CEO-Europe for DFCapital, a financial institution providing working capital to SMEs. Prior to his current role, he advised on impact investment strategies for the EBRD, Global Harvester, a low carbon economy merchant bank. He also acted as Head of Investments at Open Society Foundation, Soros Economic Development Fund. In 2016, he was nominated Secretary of State for Trade & Investment and was subsequently elected as a Member of the Romanian Parliament. Prior to this, Manuel was an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank and a consultant for McKinsey. Manuel holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters in International Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  

“As a father of three children, I live every day with the ever present virtual reality permeating family life. It is a privilege to be able to work with gifted people on ensuring that whatever the digital future brings, we would have been deliberate about it.”

Peter Wanless has been Chief Executive of NSPCC, the UK’s leading child protection charity, since 2013. He was previously the Big Lottery Fund’s Chief Executive, and Director at the Department for Education from 1998 to 2008. He is on the Royal Foundation Taskforce for the Prevention of Cyberbullying.

“Childhood shapes who we become, abuse never should. That is why I feel so strongly that children’s rights must apply online as well as offline so the wonderful opportunities afforded by digital technology help children flourish, rather than subject them to potentially devastating and unnecessary risk.” 

Towela Nyirenda Jere works in the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a Principal Programme Officer focusing on policy, legal and regulatory aspects of infrastructure development. She has 20 years of experience working in the private sector, academia and international development. She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications), a Master of Arts in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet Governance), an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP). She continues to advocate for increased awareness among African policy makers of the importance and significance of infrastructure and ICT development, Internet Governance and policy processes at national and continental level.

“The significance of the work that 5Rights undertakes in promoting the rights of children and young people online cannot be overstated. In an ever-increasing connected and online world, ensuring that children and young people are adequately protected in their digital interactions is paramount and 5Rights is leading the way, not only for the UK but globally as well.”