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Virtual roundtable on the pandemic's unequal impacts on global garment supply chains

Event discussing the findings of recently published research.

30 June, 5pm BST.

Published: 23rd June 2021

Event: Virtual roundtable on the pandemic's unequal impacts on global garment supply chains.

30 June, 5pm BST.

The event is co-sponsored by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) and the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, Worker Rights Consortium, the Global Reporting Center and the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre.

Roundtable participants will discuss new research and investigative reporting on the unequal impacts of the pandemic on global garment supply chains. Key themes will include:

  • The commercial impacts of the pandemic on garment companies and how their varied responses to the crisis have impacted businesses and workers in supply chains;
  • Changes to working conditions and patterns of forced labour, based on a survey and interviews with 1140 workers across 302 factories;
  • How supply chain governance, including social compliance and social auditing, have evolved during the pandemic;
  • The collaboration between journalists, academics, and a worker rights organisation that made this research and reporting possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Robert Cribb is an investigative journalist at the Toronto Star and founder/director of the Investigative Journalism Bureau at the University of Toronto. He has received national and international reporting awards for investigations into offshore tax evasion, child exploitation, human trafficking, dangerous doctors, environmental threats and public safety. He was part of the international reporting team that produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation in 2017. He teaches investigative journalism at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism and the University of Toronto.

Genevieve LeBaron is Professor of Politics within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield and Principal Investigator of Re:Structure Lab, a collaboration between Stanford, Yale and Sheffield universities. Her award-winning research investigates the business of forced labour in global supply chains and the effectiveness of government, industry, and worker-led strategies to combat it. Her latest books are Combatting Modern Slavery: Why Labour Governance is Failing and What We Can Do About It (Polity Press, 2020) and Fighting Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: History and Contemporary Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2021, co-edited with David W. Blight and Jessica Pliley). LeBaron was elected to the College of the Royal Society of Canada in 2020.

Penelope Kyritsis is the Director of Strategic Research at the Worker Rights Consortium, an independent labor rights monitoring organization for the global garment industry.

Snetsehay is a field representative for the Worker Rights Consortium.

Moderator: Kieran Guilbert is a freelance journalist who was previously the modern slavery and human trafficking editor for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, where he led a global team of nine journalists covering these topics.