Hope for Justice has welcomed the appointment of a new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner for the UK: Eleanor Lyons.
Currently the Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Eleanor Lyons (pictured) will take up her new post from 11th December 2023 for a fixed three-year term. She 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 post of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was created by the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and has previously been held by two people whose career backgrounds were in policing: Kevin Hyland until May 2018, and Dame Sara Thornton from May 2019 until April 2022, since when the post has been empty. Hope for Justice was among the organisations urging the Government to ensure the post was filled. Two major pieces of legislation with links to modern slavery policy – the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the Illegal Migration Act 2023 – went through Parliament during the 18 months the post was vacant, without the independent scrutiny provided by an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
About Eleanor Lyons (courtesy GOV.UK): 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.