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 Annual Report 2019-2020

Read the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Annual Report 2019-2020 here.


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

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


Preventing modern slavery and human trafficking in the financial sector: A call to action

A study commissioned by the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner led by Themis and TRIBE Freedom Foundation explores ways the financial sector can identify and prevent modern slavery and human trafficking. The work examines the risks and links faced by different types of organisations and sectors within the financial services industry. A forthcoming report will highlight practical steps that financial services firms can take. 

To find out more, please visit the Themis website.


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 | 16 November 2020
The National Crime Agency has begun a week of action in collaboration with law enforcement partners across the country to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. Project AIDANT will focus on the illicit financial gains that perpetrators obtain through exploitation of their victims.
News | 17 October 2020
Ahead of Anti-Slavery Day, Britain's Independent Anti Slavery commissioner Sara Thornton says "no company can be complacent about trafficking". In an article published by Thomas Reuters Foundation, Dame Sara Thornton called on companies to be held to account for modern slavery in their supply chains.
News | 15 October 2020
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) today published its first in-depth assessment of how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with modern slavery and human trafficking Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said: “I welcome the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland’s assessment of how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with modern slavery and human trafficking and look forward to seeing how the PSNI, Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland and Ministry for Justice respond to the report’s recommendations”.
News | 15 October 2020
The Sentencing Councils' Modern Slavery offences consultation published today and closing on 15th January 2021 seeks views on a draft of the first dedicated sentencing guidelines for offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It is open to everyone including members of the judiciary, legal practitioners and any individuals who work in or have an interest in criminal justice.
News | 14 October 2020
The ICAI review published today looks at UK aid spending of over £200 million to tackle modern slavery in developing countries - a 'new and complex' issue for the aid programme that affects millions of people worldwide.
News | 08 October 2020
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has today published her review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 statutory defence. The review’s purpose was to gain a better understanding of what was happening on the ground in respect of the use of the statutory defence. Having received over 100 written responses referring to 200 cases, and listened to an informed and broad spectrum of expert evidence, the review makes ten practical recommendations aimed at making the current system work better.

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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