Our Team

David Hammond Esq. BSc (Hons), PGDL – Chief Executive Officer (UK)

Human Rights at Sea, as an emerging international concept and civil-society platform was first conceived in 2013 and founded on 3 April 2014 by David Hammond. A former military seafarer, veteran Royal Marines’ Officer and in-house Barrister (Counsel), David has practical maritime and legal-related operational experience having served in the North and South Atlantic Oceans, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf and South China Seas. He has worked in challenging environments teaching human rights and International Humanitarian Law around the world on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government. David is an advocate for the on-going international development, advocacy and drive for the explicit codification of the concept of ‘human rights at sea’ throughout the maritime environment. He holds a Batchelors in Marine Biology (Liverpool), a Post-Graduate Degree in Law (London), has practised in defence, prosecution, and advisory roles up to senior military and Ministerial level. He is a Member of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple and a Member of the Institute of Directors.

Martyn Illingworth – Head of Operations (UK)

Martyn Illingworth is the Head of Operations and Development for Human Rights at Sea. He ensures that we deliver on our mission and strategy, and that our impact is as powerful as it can be. He leads the development, implementation and evaluation of our key projects and ensures that our stakeholder engagement is as effective and impactful as it can be. He has a considerable background in management in both the public and civil sectors with a strong focus on the delivery of strategic ambitions. He has worked for charities and NGOs, governments, and UN bodies on a range of projects and commissions. He is currently completing his MBA and is a Member of both the Chartered Managers Institute and the Association of Project Managers. 

Dr Elizabeth Mavropoulou (LLB, LLM, PhD) – Head of Research (UK)

Elizabeth Mavropoulou is the Head of Research for Human Rights at Sea working to expand upon academic and professional journal publications and produce research based advocacy on the work areas of the charity. Elizabeth has been with Human Rights at Sea since 2014, researching, writing and working for raising awareness on the concept of human rights at sea.  Elizabeth is also an early career academic, a part-time visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster and Refugee Law Initiative, University of London, where she lectures on public international law, international human rights law and international refugee law.


Emma Foley (BA Hons, LLM) – Head of Development (UK)

Emma is the Head of Development for Human Rights at Sea and forms part of our Senior Leadership Team. As the Head of Development she plays both a strategic and hands-on operational role in our fundraising, communications, and international development work.

Emma joins with over 10 years professional experience in multi-national corporates and third-sector industries. Her experience includes strategic growth, fundraising, income drawdown and programme management across areas involving women and children’s rights, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Emma has a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Exeter.


Charlotte Rumbol – Executive Administrator (UK)

Charlotte is the Executive Administrator to the Senior Leadership Team providing full administrative support to the staff for all day-to-day work streams, as well as providing advice and support for the NGO’s programmes and related projects.

Charlotte has both public and private experience in various roles, most recently as Personal Assistant to the Heads of High Value at Macmillan Cancer Support and as an Assistant to the Director of Delivery at the NHS.



Dr Bonny Ling (PhD) – Senior Consultant Researcher (UK)

Dr. Bonny Ling is a scholar and practitioner who works on international human rights and development. She has worked in the UN system and in international civil society. She holds a Ph.D in Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, M.Phil (Cantab) in Criminology and MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. Dr. Ling also consults as a legal analyst on responsible business conduct with a focus on Asia; and has served as an international election observer in East Timor and for the OSCE. Previously at the University of Zurich in Switzerland from 2014-2019, she is an independent scholar based in the UK and holds the position of Senior Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking for her work and research on human trafficking. She writes on human rights, migrants, business responsibilities and international law.

Daniel Shepherd BA (Hons), LL.M – Senior Consultant Researcher (UK & Italy)

Daniel Shepherd has worked closely with Human Rights at Sea since 2015 as an external consultant. He has worked on a wide variety of research based projects and client instructions including, among others, seaborne migration and Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean, abuses of seafarers and fishermen’s rights, piracy and maritime security, investigations into missing seafarers and allegations of multiple homicide, and industry policy and legislative reviews both within UK and Overseas jurisdictions. He holds a Batchelors in Politics (University of Sheffield), a Masters in Public International Law (University of Nottingham), is a qualified barrister and Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett Manager – Non-Executive Advisory Board Manager (Pro bono) (UK)

Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett joined the Royal Navy in 2007, serving for over 11 years and sailing in Frigates, Destroyers and Survey ships in a wide range of maritime environments. Ivana has seen a lack of human rights at sea first hand was involved in a variety of different maritime operations, from fishery protection in home waters to patrolling disputed boundaries in the Persian Gulf, from anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden to migrant operations in the Mediterranean. Her specialisation was firstly hydrographics and then navigation where she developed a love for ship-handling and achieved her command qualification, or masters ticket. Ivana now works as a Marine Pilot on the River Thames with the Port of London Authority. She is a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, a member of Maritime UK and WISTA and participates in the Lean In working group for women on the Thames: Women on the Water.

Abby Williams – Researcher and Media Lead (Australia)

Abby is a maritime journalist who applies the principles of investigative reporting to the global maritime industry. Formerly the cargo hold manager on a ship operated by a humanitarian organisation, her vocation is influenced by encounters with human rights violations at sea, and concern for the wellbeing of seafarers. Now based in Australia, Abby has recently completed her studies in journalism and communication and writes for a maritime news publication in Sydney. She joined Human Rights at Sea in 2021 as an independent research consultant.