Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM is the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 created the role of the 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.


Report launch - 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.


The report will be launched on Monday 18 January.


Home Office mailing list and resources: EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has created a community bulletin for stakeholder updates on the EU Settlement Scheme. You can sign up to this here. Further resources include a toolkit for community groups to support EU citizens to apply to stay in the UK and communications material


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 | 19 January 2021
In a piece for Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner urges financial institutions to take the issue of modern slavery seriously. A new report has found worryingly low levels of awareness of forced labour and exploitation of workers in the UK’s financial sector.
News | 18 January 2021
A groundbreaking report into the UK’s financial sector has found worryingly low levels of awareness of forced labour and exploitation of workers.
News | 12 January 2021
The Government has today (12 January 2021) announced new measures to help ensure that British organisations are not complicit in, nor profiting from, the human rights violations in Xinjiang. Measures include the introduction of financial penalties for businesses that do not comply with the Modern Slavery Act.
News | 04 January 2021
Comments by the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, feature in an article by Thomson Reuters Foundation on priorities for the anti-slavery movement in 2021. She expands on her comments here on the moral and practical arguments for granting leave to survivors.
News | 22 December 2020
Yesterday two men were found guilty of organised immigration crime and the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese people found dead in a lorry last October. These individuals were part of an international people smuggling operation making huge profits from desperate people, who were in search of a better life for themselves and for their families. Sadly, this tragic incident is all too typical of the way in which criminal gangs exploit vulnerable people.
News | 21 December 2020
IASC statement: Grays trial

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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