Kevin Hyland, the UK's first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

The Santa Marta Group Senior Special Advisor

Kevin Hyland OBE is the Santa Marta Group Senior Special Advisor and former first UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner leading efforts to tackle domestic slavery and human trafficking.

His immediate aims as Commissioner were the following:

  • Improved care for victims
  • Effective training and victim identification
  • Partnership working
  • Evaluation of activity
  • Private sector engagement and collaboration

At the December 2014 Santa Marta Group conference in London, he highlighted that the number of people in slavery in the UK was between 10,000 and 13,000 people – far exceeding the number of reported cases.

He also lamented that in officially recognised crime statistics as few as one in ten cases had received a police

“It is up to us as leaders to prevent these failings and build on the many successes and best practice by introducing measures that will work to tackle this crime – to alleviate the suffering of those we have a duty to protect.

“My job includes joining the dots, removing the barriers, offering guidance and new opportunities and, where necessary, holding to account those who fail in their responsibilities – whether that be in the Criminal Justice System, the public sector or the private sector where supply and demand plays a major role.

“Everyone needs to pull together to empower victims to come forward. We need to place our efforts on disempowering the traffickers and slave masters who profit from this serious and organised criminality.

“I will be unwavering in my independence whether it be in relation to law enforcement, government, public sector, private sector, or the non-government agencies. The only time my independence will be negotiable is in favour of the victims who I am committed to serving.”