Genevieve LeBaron is a Research Fellow at SPERI and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations. She is an Editor of Review of International Political Economy.

She has been included in the 2018 UK Top 100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers and the 2017 global Top 100 Human Trafficking & Slavery Influence Leaders lists, alongside world leaders from the UK and US governments and industry leaders from companies like Apple and Ford. Her research has won a number of awards— including the Rising Star Engagement Award by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences—and has been covered widely in the media, including by the Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, The Guardian, The Economist, and the BBC.

She has successfully completed research grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences; British Academy / UK Department for International Development (DFID); Ford Foundation; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, amongst others.

Genevieve joined the University of Sheffield as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in 2013. Prior to that, she was a SSHRC Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. She has held visiting positions at: Yale University; the International Labour Organization in Geneva; the University of California, Berkeley; Osgoode Hall Law School; and Sciences Po, Paris.

In 2015-2016, she held the prestigious Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Fellowship at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, part of the MacMillan Center at Yale University, and continues to lead the Yale Modern Slavery Working Group, based at the Center.

Genevieve leads SPERI’s Labour & Decent Work research theme with Natalie Langford and Tom Hunt.

Further information about Genevieve can be found at

Research Interests

Genevieve’s work is at the forefront of the emerging evidence base on forced labour, human trafficking, and slavery in the global economy. Since 2008, she has been investigating the business of forced labour, and its role and dynamics within domestic and global supply chains.

Genevieve’s current research focuses on multi-national corporations and the global labour market. She is particularly interested in how the changing nature, power, and ownership structure of corporations is impacting labour standards in the global economy.  She has completed studies on the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility, including ethical certification and social auditing, in addressing labour exploitation and forced labour. 

Genevieve was Principal Investigator on the ESRC-funded Global Business of Forced Labour project, a first-of-its-kind research project examining the business models of forced labour within global agricultural supply chains. This research has been presented to wide-ranging audiences, including at UK DFID, UK Home Office, ILO, Sedex’s annual conference, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and in a special session organised with Baroness Lola Young for tea industry executives at the UK House of Lords.

She is a Co-Investigator on the SSHRC grant, The Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chains, based at the University of British Columbia’s Global Reporting Centre. This grant brings scholars and journalists together to research and report on the complexities of global trade, and includes partnerships with The New York Times, Frontline, NBC News, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Google News Lab, and others.

Key Publications



Journal Articles