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.”
- 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
- Modern Slavery Helpline for contact details and resources
- Crimestoppers have released a leaflet on spotting signs of exploitation, particularly as we come out of lockdown
- Posters are available here to download or print with information on Coronavirus in languages including English, Polish and Romanian
- Doctors of the World has information on Coronavirus in a variety of languages
- Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) has short video tutorials on 'How to Wash Your Hands' and 'Preventing Sickness'. They are available in a variety of languages and are free
- The government has released guidance for hostel or day centre providers of services for people experiencing rough sleeping
- Homeless Link has advice and recommendations for homelessness services
- The Passage have created a document on supporting victims of modern slavery who are homeless during the Coronavirus pandemic
- The Human Trafficking Foundation have collated further resources on their website
- The Salvation Army have released a message on their response to Coronavirus
- Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership have released an easy to read information document on potential victims' rights
- Shiva Foundation has produced a 'spot the signs' flyer for newly-recruited volunteers who may come across vulnerable people during this time
- The Children's Commissioner for England and Wales has produced a children's guide to Coronavirus
- The government has released guidance on how businesses should address and report on modern slavery risks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
To contact the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
- Telephone: +44 (0) 203 513 0475
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org