Home Secretary announces new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner


Eleanor Lyons will take up the role to help combat modern slavery.


Eleanor Lyons, the current Deputy Children’s Commissioner, has been selected to take up the role of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

She will play a key role in helping to drive the UK’s response to this devastating crime.

The unique role was established by the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and is independent of government. The Commissioner works collaboratively with the government and its partners to ensure modern slavery is effectively tackled in the UK, as well as working with international partners to promote best practice.

Ms Lyons was selected for the important role by Home Secretary Suella Braverman following a robust competition, conducted in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.


Home Secretary, Suella Braverman said:

“I congratulate Eleanor Lyons on her appointment and look forward to working with her to tackle modern slavery. She will provide tremendous insight and expertise as she takes up this role.”


Ms Lyons said:

"Modern slavery and human trafficking are abhorrent crimes. Our response must be focused on prosecuting those responsible, preventing further exploitation and protecting victims, particularly those least often heard. The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was created to drive efforts forward and encourage best practice across the UK.

"I look forward to working constructively with stakeholders and building on the progress that has been made since the role was created. I am committed to a victim-centric approach and to ensuring that survivors’ experiences inform my work to effect meaningful change."

Ms Lyons will be expected to:

  • Encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences and in the identification of victims
  • Work alongside Government in its implementation of the reform of National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to improve UK’s ability to identify and support victims of modern slavery
  • Commission specific research, studies and inquiries to strengthen the evidence base on modern slavery to support the mobilisation of appropriate responses and the commissioning of interventions
  • Build positive relationships with the modern slavery leadership community, including the Devolved Administrations, business, academia, civil society, international partners and victims of modern slavery

The appointment is designated for a fixed period of three years, with Ms Lyons taking up the role from 11 December 2023, after she concludes her role as Deputy Children’s Commissioner. Between November 2019 and July 2020, Ms Lyons was Director for Portland Communication Consultancy. Between November 2017 and August 2019, she was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Defence Secretary and Chief Whip.