sewing machine grey-scale photography and close-up photography
Photo by J Williams on Unsplash

Over one hundred councils in England and Scotland signed up to the Charter Against Modern Slavery. Outraged by the failure of appoint the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, councillors from the councils that have embedded the Charter into their work have written to the Home Secretary:

Dear Home Secretary

Appointment of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

I am proud that our council, one of over 100 in England and Scotland, signed the Charter Against Modern Slavery. The Charter commits the council to vet our supply chains to ensure that taxpayer’s money does not support instances of modern slavery.

Part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 created the role of the Independent Anti- Slavery Commissioner, who is charged with encouraging good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences, as well as in the identification of victims. The role has been vacant since April 2022 and in the absence of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, that important work has stalled.

It is your statutory duty under Part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act to appoint the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and we are increasingly dismayed by the lack of progress in recruiting to the role, especially in light of the recently announced proposed Illegal Migration Bill.

We call on you to fulfil your obligations in respect of appointing the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner in an efficient and timely manner.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader, London Borough of Brent Council

Mayor Phil Glanville, London Borough of Hackney

Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of London Borough of Haringey Council

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of London Borough of Islington

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council

Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council

Cllr Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton on Tees Council

Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council

Cllr Joe Fagan, Leader of South Lanarkshire Council

Cllr Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cllr Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council

Mayor Martin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Cllr Stephen Cox, Leader of Three Rivers District Council Labour Group

Cllr Adam Yates, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Economic Regeneration, West Lancashire Council

Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams, Leader of Amber Valley Labour Group

Cllr James Slater, Camden Borough Council

Cllr Paul Hezelgrave, Derby City Council

Cllr Georgia Cruickshank, Dundee City Council

Cllr Mary Montague, East Renfrewshire Council

Cllr Terry Pullen, Gloucester City Council

Cllr Martin McCluskey, Inverclyde Council

Cllr Francesca Brennan, Inverclyde Council

Cllr Paul Cassidy, Inverclyde Council

Cllr Jon Woolf, London Borough of Islington

Cllr Kelly Drummond, Midlothian Council

Cllr Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council

Cllr Alan Griffiths, London Borough of Newham

Cllr Nairn McDonald, North Ayrshire Council

Cllr Donald Reid, North Ayrshire Council

Cllr Joe Cullinane, North Ayrshire Council

Cllr John Paul, North Ayrshire Council

Cllr Alison Ann-Dowling, Renfrewshire Council

Cllr David Meller, Stockport Council

Cllr Jim Robbins, Swindon Borough Council

Cllr Asma Islam, London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council

Cllr Kirsteen Sullivan, West Lothian Council