Laura McManus


Laura McManus featured image

Laura is a human rights practitioner with a keen interest in how companies develop and embed meaningful human rights due diligence in global supply chains. As a former researcher, she builds on established theory and applies human rights based approaches in new multi-stakeholder settings.

Laura began her career in the not-for-profit sector, and has worked on issues of child rights, youth participation in peace-building, and modern slavery in Nepal, the Netherlands and Australia. She co-authored Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains and the Global Slavery Index, publications by the Walk Free Foundation, where she developed an interest in the impact business can have on human rights.

Transitioning to the corporate sector, Laura first worked with Konica Minolta Australia to develop and implement its Ethical Sourcing Roadmap. For this work, Konica Minolta was recognised as the first business recipie​​nt of Anti-Slavery Australia’s Freedom Award.

As Head of Human Rights at Woolworths Group, Laura leads the company’s human rights program including its responsible sourcing program, and strategy to respond to the Australian Modern Slavery Act. She has presented at the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, the Australian Dialogue on Business and Human Rights, and in 2023 was named amongst the 50 most influential Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) professionals in FS Sustainability’s inaugural ESG Power50.

Laura has been awarded a 2023 Churchill Fellowship to examine best practices in responsible recruitment practices to reduce forced labour risks among migrant workers in Australia. By examining two stages in the labour recruitment supply chain, her research will make recommendations to strengthen labour migration corridors from the Pacific, and propose a framework for ongoing multi-stakeholder collaboration to safeguard migrant workers’ rights throughout their employment.

Laura holds a Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation from the University of Sydney and is a Director of the United Nations Global Compact Network Australia.


To examine best practices in responsible recruitment to reduce forced labour among migrant workers

To examine best practices in responsible recruitment to reduce forced labour among migrant workers

United Kingdom
Land, Commerce and Logistics
Laura McManus

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