Piya Muqit, Executive Director
Piya has been working in the field of human rights, child rights, human trafficking and refugee rights for the past 16 years as a legal-aid lawyer and policy expert. She has worked for NGOs, including Freedom from Torture, REDRESS and Refugee and Migrant Justice in the UK, the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana in the USA and Ain o Salish Kendra in Bangladesh. She has also served on the Board and worked for the Citizenship Foundation and Grampian Racial Equality Council. Piya is a qualified barrister having trained at Doughty Street, Garden Court Chambers and the Faculty of Advocates in the UK and holds an undergraduate degree in law from the University of Aberdeen, a Master’s in Human Rights Law from the University of London and a Master’s in Child Studies from Kings College London. She has led on change management projects for several NGOs, and been involved in training and capacity building, research, strategic litigation cases, and law and policy reform throughout her career. Her most recent post before joining Justice Centre was Head of Policy and Advocacy at UNICEF UK.
Isaac Shaffer, Protection Claimant Services Manager
Isaac Shaffer is a UK qualified lawyer with over 8 years experience of directly representing asylum seekers and refugees before Courts and Tribunals. Before working for the Justice Centre, he worked for Wilson Solicitors LLP, one of the UK’s leading legal aid immigration firms, and for Refugee Legal Centre, a UK NGO providing direct
Lynette Nam, Legal Officer
Lynette is an Australian qualified lawyer and holds a dual degree in Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hon) from the University of Queensland. Before joining Justice Centre, Lynette worked at Fragomen Worldwide, an international law firm specialising in immigration law, in Australia and Hong Kong. Previous to this, Lynette was a human rights trainer on the Thai-Burma border, where she developed and implemented a curriculum on non-violent social change for young Karenni refugees. Lynette also has experience in fundraising and communications through her involvement with Refugees International Japan in Tokyo, and has previously worked at various community legal centres in Australia in a volunteer capacity.
Chloe Martin, Psychosocial Programme Manager
Annie Li, Research and Policy Officer
Annie has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Government and Laws) degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Hong Kong. She studied social sciences and law at Sciences Po Paris for a year on exchange too. Before joining the organisation, she worked at Hong Kong Unison, where she advocated for equal education opportunities and enhanced legal protection for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and lobbied local and international bodies including United Nations treaty bodies to that end. She also worked at AIDS Concern in communications.
Melanie McLaren, Head of Fundraising and Development
Melanie joined Justice Centre in September 2015 and prior to this had 9 years’ experience in the corporate sector, specialising in fundraising, investor relations and operations in both the U.K. and Hong Kong. Most recently Melanie held the role of Chief Operations Officer for Asia-Pacific fundraising at Macquarie, the global investment bank. During her time at Macquarie, Melanie also sat on the Asia Pacific steering committee for the Macquarie Foundation Modern Slavery project. Melanie also has experience in community outreach and fundraising through corporate and social responsibility activities.
Adela Kamaragoda, Grants and Donor Relations Manager
Adela’s upbringing in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo has made her keenly aware of the situations that create refugees and the reasons why they are forced to flee, and influenced her career choice early on. Fluent in French and with a BA in International Development and a Master’s in Conflict, Governance and International Development, Adela has worked with both international and grassroots development organisations in Benin and Morocco as well as the London HQ of Tearfund. Adela spent a year in Jordan learning Arabic before moving to Hong Kong and joining the team in February 2014.
Zamira Monteiro, Engagement Officer
Zamira is from South India and was born and raised in the tiny island of Bahrain. Having studied and worked in India, the UK and Hong Kong, Zamira knows all too well the experience of being an ethnic minority, which in turn fostered her interest in intersecting issues related to perceptions of identity, culture, gender rights and socio-economic rights. She developed a passion for refugee rights while completing her Master’s degree in Human Rights Law at the University of Hong Kong, and first joined Justice Centre as a volunteer before becoming full-time staff. Besides human rights advocacy, Zamira loves the performing arts, literature and anything with chocolate in it.
Jade Anderson, Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator
Jade has been working in human rights-based development since 2002. She has worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and South Africa for local and international NGOs. She has also worked with the UN Refugee Agency in Australia. Before joining the organisation, Jade worked with international company Statt, researching people who decide to seek asylum from Afghanistan through irregular channels. Jade holds a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development and a Masters in International Development. She is the co-author of the Justice Centre report, Coming Clean.
Darshana Parekh, Finance Manager
Darshana is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant and completed her training with PriceWaterhouseCoopers after graduating from the London School of Economics with a BSc (Econ) Accounting and Finance degree. She went on to do various roles in the Finance function of a multinational company in London for 8 years before moving to Mumbai for and then on to Hong Kong. Darshana started working as Finance Manager for Justice Centre in August 2016.
Ding Chen, Legal Consultant
Ding Chen is an Australian and Hong Kong qualified lawyer with many years of experience in the field of dispute resolution in Australia, London and Hong Kong. Most recently she was a senior lawyer at leading international firm Baker & McKenzie, where she also led a team of pro bono lawyers advising the UNHCR as an intervener in Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal proceedings regarding the refugee status determination process in Hong Kong. Additionally, Ding has previously acted as a volunteer lawyer in various community legal centres.
Adam Severson, Legal Consultant
Adam is a U.S. qualified lawyer from Colorado, who began his career representing asylum seekers in the U.S. Since 2012 he has provided direct representation to asylum seekers in the UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination process in Egypt, Thailand, and Indonesia. He was most recently in Egypt working with a local NGO to establish an RSD legal services program.
Jessica Hatherall, Legal Volunteer
Jessica is a U.S. and U.K. qualified lawyer who has worked as a pro-bono lawyer and at a grass roots level in the human rights field throughout her career. She is currently studying for her Masters in Human Rights Law at Hong Kong University whilst doing a legal placement at Justice Centre. Previously, she has many years of experience as a corporate lawyer at leading international law firms in London, UK and Sydney, Australia. Most recently, Jessica has experience in fundraising as co-founder of the Room to Read Sydney Spring Trek and Business Ambassadors Program. Having lived in 3 countries, and travelled extensively around the world, Jessica is passionate about contributing to the field of human rights, to ensure all people are treated with respect and dignity.
Pimpernel Preston, Development Associate
Pimpernel recently joined Justice Centre Hong Kong while on sabbatical from the Refugee Council in the United Kingdom. While at the Refugee Council, she managed trust and statutory relationships to deliver services for refugees and asylum-seekers in the United Kingdom. Her career has spanned the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Interpol. Her academics included the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Political Science and most recently International Law at Harvard University.