Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is an umbrella term encompassing slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. Victims of modern slavery are unable to leave their situation of exploitation, controlled by threats, punishment, violence, coercion and deception. Slavery violates human rights, denying people of their right to life, freedom and security.


people live in slavery today
(ILO & Walkfree Foundation 2017)

potential victims of slavery are in the UK
(Home Office 2014)

children are victims of child labour
(ILO & Walkfree Foundation 2017)

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Strategic Plan 2019 - 2021

Read the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Strategic Plan 2019 - 2021 here.


Anti-Slavery Partnership Toolkit

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s (IASC) office, in collaboration with the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, has launched an online toolkit to help local organisations and agencies work better together to tackle modern slavery. You can view the toolkit here:



Statutory Agencies

Recent News & Insights

News | 23 October 2019
IASC statement: Tragic discovery of 39 bodies found in lorry container in Essex
News | 18 October 2019
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has today published her Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2021. The Strategic Plan has been laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State (Home Secretary) in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act (2015).
News | 18 October 2019
Dame Sara Thornton tells Sky News soaring modern slavery referrals have cause the system to "slow down"
News | 18 October 2019
Speaking at a Government Forum to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Middle East in Bahrain earlier this week, Dame Sara Thornton described modern slavery and human trafficking as an “international challenge”, highlighting the need for cooperation between countries to combat this crime.
News | 18 October 2019
On the eve of Anti-Slavery Day 2019, Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool came to meet Dame Sara and spoke to the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner on the museum’s diverse collections on historical and contemporary slavery, their plans for expansion and the importance of collaborative working with anti-slavery partners to enhance understanding and awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.
News | 14 October 2019
The victims of the terrible trade in human beings are all around us, Dame Sara tells The Sunday Post in an article covering the case of Slovakian human trafficking victims tricked into moving to Scotland before being sold as brides.

What do I do if I think someone is a victim of modern slavery?

If you think someone is in immediate danger, please call the police on 999. In order to protect the potential victim, do not attempt to inform them of your actions.

If you think someone is a potential victim but there is no immediate threat to life, please call the local police on 101.

You can also call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 24 hours a day.

If you have information you wish to give anonymously and confidentially you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

See the ‘Resources’ page for more detailed guidance on how to refer a victim of modern slavery for support.


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