Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Coronavirus Response

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has expressed concern about the impact of Coronavirus on the provision of support to victims and survivors of modern slavery. The Commissioner is working closely with NGOs, statutory bodies and government to encourage dialogue and share information:

  • The Commissioner has written to the Home Office to raise her concerns. 
  • The Commissioner has written to the sector to clarify information on support rates for victims and survivors.
  • The Commissioner’s office has created a list of Q&As in response to queries raised at an NGO forum.
  • Actions from a meeting held between the Commissioner, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and NGOs on labour exploitation can be found here.
  • A note from a second meeting held between the Commissioner, GLAA and NGOs can be found here.

We are collating a list of resources for the sector. Please check back regularly and contact the office should you have concerns or further resources.


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

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


Call for Evidence: Use of the Modern Slavery Act’s Section 45 statutory defence

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has closed her call for written evidence inviting anyone with practical experience and knowledge of cases involving use of the Modern Slavery Act’s Section 45 statutory defence.

Further information, please click here.


Anti-Slavery Partnership Toolkit

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, 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



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.


Statutory Agencies

Recent News & Insights

News | 27 July 2020
In an interview with The Times, Dame Sara calls for stricter rules on businesses to stamp out the exploitation of workers after it emerged that no company had been censured for failings.
News | 14 July 2020
Comments by Dame Sara are featured in an article in The Times covering the recent Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner review Operation Fort - What businesses should learn from the UK’s largest anti-slavery prosecution (June 2020).
News | 13 July 2020
A new report by the Centre for Social Justice and Justice and Care examines the current state of the modern slavery response in the UK, five years after the Modern Slavery Act was passed.
News | 09 July 2020
In an interview for Thomson Reuters Foundation, Dame Sara Thornton, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, warns that factory workers in Leicester are scared to report labour exploitation for fear of losing jobs.
News | 03 July 2020
Dame Sara has been appointed to the post of Honorary Professor in Modern Slavery at the University of Liverpool.
News | 02 July 2020
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has today launched an IASC and PaCCS review examining how far the evidence base on support for survivors of modern slavery is informing policy and the work of practitioners in the UK.

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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