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.


Clewer Initiative Lent Course - Women in the Shadows

‘Women in the Shadows,’ the new Lent Course from The Clewer Initiative, is fresh, hard-hitting and empowering. At the heart of the course are five mini-films which include survivor stories and expert interviews.

For more information or to sign up to receive The Clewer Initiative’s Lent Course, visit their website.


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


Report by the Bakhita Centre at St Mary's University - What Looks Promising for Tackling Modern Slavery: A review of practice-based research

A new report by Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse examines the role that practice-based research can play in policy development and survivor support. This report is intended to help inform policy and practice using materials not published in academic journals. It is intended to identify strengths that can be shared and built upon.

Read the report here


Report - 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.

Read the report 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 | 31 March 2021
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, and the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham have agreed a protocol on working more closely together to collaborate on research and innovation on modern slavery.
News | 29 March 2021
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has today published a new paper urging police practitioners to prioritise financial investigation of modern slavery and human trafficking crimes.
News | 24 March 2021
Dame Sara Thornton, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Themis AFC Awards 2021 which were held on 23 March. This award recognises the work of individuals in the public or private sector who have repeatedly championed financial crime prevention.
News | 04 March 2021
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has released comments on an Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) report on modern slavery and Government response to the report laid in Parliament today (Thursday 4 March 2021).
News | 02 March 2021
Speaking to Sky News, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton comments on a potential ban on US imports where there have been allegations of labour abuse for some brands.
News | 25 February 2021
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner is offering a unique opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a traditional internship i.e. learning with and from a small team of experienced, supportive colleagues, but on an 8 week fixed term paid contract basis. The purpose of the role is to deliver a specific survivor informed research project, likely to focus on exploring models for survivor engagement within anti-slavery work or examining barriers to sustainable independence for survivors of modern slavery in the UK. The title and detail of the project will be agreed dependant on the experience, knowledge and interests of the successful candidate.

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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