Carolyne Willow – Founder Director
Carolyne Willow is a registered social worker (qualified in 1988). She started her career in child protection social work and then moved into roles promoting and protecting the rights of children in foster and residential care amid the first wave of revelations of institutional child abuse. Between 2000 and 2012, she was head of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), during which time she led the charity’s successful fight for transparency in restraint techniques used in G4S and Serco child prisons and initiated legal action to force the government to notify former child prisoners they had been unlawfully restrained. She was a member of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC’s Inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip-searching of children in custody. Carolyne co-ordinated two major submissions from non-governmental organisations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She was principal author and editor of nine of CRAE’s annual State of Children’s Rights in England reports, and has written extensively on children’s rights over the past 25 years, including for the Council of Europe, Save the Children International and UNICEF. Her first book was ‘Children’s Rights and Participation in Residential Care’ (1996); and her latest is ‘Children Behind Bars. Why the Abuse of Child Imprisonment Must End’ (2015).
Carolyne is a Patron of the National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers (NAIRO). In 2017, she won the Social Worker of the Year (Championing Social Work Values) Gold Award, and in 2020 she won the Outstanding Leadership award in the Sheila McKechnie national campaigner awards.
Outside of work, Carolyne enjoys amateur dramatics, family board games and going to the theatre. She also loves her camper van.
Augusta Itua – Head of the Children’s Rights Advice Service
Augusta is a children’s rights lawyer, coordinating our children’s rights advice service, ON YOUR SIDE. She facilitates Article 39’s advocacy clinics for members of our Children and Young People’s Advocates Network, and delivers our rights nights, where children and young people can learn about their rights and share ideas on strengthening children’s rights.
In addition to her part-time role at Article 39, Augusta works as a Legal Consultant at Coram BAAF (previously the British Association for Adoption and Fostering) and holds a trustee position on the board of the Hackney Migrant Centre. Recently, she was awarded the 2023 Churchill Fellowship, granting her the opportunity to travel to Australia to explore ways to improve access to social care records for individuals with care experience. Previously, Augusta was a youth advocate at Just for Kids Law. She qualified as a criminal lawyer there, and gained experience of working in community care and education law, and strategic litigation. She later transitioned into a role as a Youth Justice Lawyer and Policy Officer, practising as a criminal lawyer and court advocate, co-ordinating the Youth Justice Legal Centre’s advice service, and advancing the Children’s Rights Alliance for England’s (CRAE) youth justice policy portfolio. Prior to that, she delivered Become’s award-winning Passport to Parliament project. Passionate about enhancing access to justice, Augusta has volunteered at the Kent Law Clinic, the Free Representation Unit, and Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice Clinic.
Outside of work, Augusta enjoys playing volleyball, spending time outdoors, and exploring her creativity through writing.
Karolina Kozlowicz – Head of Advocacy Support
Karolina co-ordinates Article 39’s Children and Young People’s Advocates Network – a community of independent advocates and advocacy mangers across England dedicated to providing excellent advocacy to children and young people. Karolina also leads on the design and delivery of Article 39 training and specialist resources for advocates.
Karolina’s background is in law and human rights, and before joining Article 39 she worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 10 years, including at Rape Crisis England & Wales, Unicef UK, Ealing Community and Voluntary Service and Centrepoint.
Outside of work, Karolina is a keen hiker, and she loves spending time outdoors in nature. She also enjoys music, books and cooking.
Mari Sutherland – Assistant to Director
Mari came out of retirement to join Article 39 to provide administrative support. She brings to the role a passion for admin, a love of data and a number of years experience working in secondary schools and units for children outside mainstream education.
Outside of charity work, Mari likes to spend time with her two flat-coated retrievers and pottering in her new potting shed.
Michelle Safo – Training and Events Advocacy Support
Michelle supports Article 39 with its training and events particularly for the Children and Young People’s Advocates Network. Her background is in mentoring young people as she has a passion for inspiring the next generation. She also has extensive experience in supporting charities.
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys travelling trips with her family, trying out new cuisines, reading and completing jigsaw puzzles.
Millie Hall – Children and Young People’s Activism Lead
Millie supports our Blooming Change group, which is young people working together to make mental health hospitals much better places for all children and young people.
Before joining Article 39, Millie was at the Alliance for Youth Justice where she worked alongside other organisations and children and young people to bring about positive change in the youth justice system. Millie has a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and History, and a Master’s degree in Race, Media and Social Justice where she furthered her passion for system change, knowledge building and sharing, and challenging narratives.
Outside of work, Millie likes to spend most of her time in the outdoors with nature, especially camping. She also loves music, history, visiting museums, and trying out new food!
Renata Sweeney – Justice First Fellow
Renata is a trainee solicitor and Justice First Fellow, currently working with Article 39 and Bhatt Murphy Solicitors.
Prior to joining Article 39 and Bhatt Murphy, Renata worked in the actions against the police team at Deighton Pierce Glynn (DPG). She spent five years at DPG where she initially entered the firm as an administrative assistant and progressed to a paralegal. During this time, she assisted on cases involving breaches of human rights and civil liberties. She advocated for families whose loved ones died through state failings, families in inquests and civil claims arising from violations of the state in article 2 European Convention on Human Rights / Human Rights Act obligations to protect women facing domestic violence. She was also part of the legal team acting for bereaved families, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Renata graduated from De Montfort University with a degree in Law and Criminal Justice in 2013. She then volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau where she gave advice on various issues such as housing, social security and immigration.
Outside of work, Renata is an avid comic book movie watcher and loves all things action. She also enjoys reading and learning something new, whether that be about business, philosophy, psychology or reading socio-political commentary.