Coronavirus: A message from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton


The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, said:


“In these unprecedented circumstances, I am aware of the concern and worry of how the situation around Coronavirus may impact the essential support provided to victims and survivors of modern slavery – whether that be in safe house support, outreach, charitable activity including awareness raising and fundraising, or by frontline responders.

I would like to reiterate my support and gratitude for all those tirelessly working to provide assistance, reassurance and support to vulnerable people everywhere.

My office continues to be operational although my team is working remotely. We remain contactable through the below channels and please do not hesitate to get in touch to raise any issues or concerns you may have.

In light of the new advice around social distancing, my team will not be attending face-to-face meetings but we will endeavour to continue engagement and communications over email, phone and through our website and social media.

If anyone has immediate concerns, my advice remains to call the police on 999 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger. If you want advice please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.

We will continue to monitor this situation and follow government advice on measures to adopt.”



Commissioner's response

  • 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 a recent 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.


Further resources and information 


To contact the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner