Council guide to tackling modern slavery

Decorative thumbnail
This revised modern slavery guidance provides an overview of modern slavery and the UK framework for tackling it, and provides targeted sections for officers working in different council services to help them understand their specific responsibilities.


In 2017, the Local Government Association (LGA) worked with the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to develop the first council guidance on tackling modern slavery.

Since the publication of the guidance, trends in modern slavery, and councils’ responses to the issue, have developed further. Council referrals of suspected victims of modern slavery have increased significantly, reflecting both the devastating trend of criminal exploitation of children in our communities but, more positively, also greater awareness and understanding of the issue.

Increasing numbers of councils have identified modern slavery lead officers and participate in local anti-slavery partnerships, and responses to victim support have improved. However, there is still more to do to ensure our response to slavery and its victims is as good as it can be.

This updated guidance is intended to councils enhance their response to modern slavery. Alongside an overview of modern slavery and the UK framework for tackling it, there are targeted sections for officers working in different council services such as children’s services, adult social care, housing, community and regulatory services, as well as a section on supply chains.

The guidance is supported by a maturity matrix providing a framework for councils to assess their current progress and plan future activity on modern slavery.

Download the guide

Council modern slavery maturity matrix

To support the LGA’s updated council guide to tackling modern slavery, the LGA has developed a maturity matrix. The matrix provides a framework for assessing progress and planning future activity on modern slavery.

The framework identifies four progress levels (basic first steps, early progress, substantial progress and mature practice).  The first two sections focus on the leadership and resources and capacity needed to effectively manage modern slavery work across a council. Subsequent sections focus on the four broad themes of council activity highlighted in the LGA guidance: identifying, referring and supporting victims, disruption and prevention and mitigating the risk of modern slavery in council supply chains.