News

Advanced Search

Jewelers ‘Failing to Prevent Rights Abuses’

Nov 25, 2020 10:51 AM   By Rapaport News
Comment Comment Email Email Print Print Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Share Share


RAPAPORT... 
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for mandatory sourcing rules for the jewelry industry and urged retailers to name their suppliers, claiming the sector is not doing enough to combat abuses.

“Many jewelry companies have made progress in sourcing their gold and diamonds responsibly, but consumers still don’t have adequate assurances that their jewelry comes free of human-rights abuses,” said Juliane Kippenberg, HRW’s associate child-rights director, in a statement Tuesday.

Voluntary standards, while positive, have failed to produce the necessary industry-wide change, HRW argued in an 84-page report on sourcing practices in the jewelry trade. This is because the rules have some weaknesses, and companies can opt out, putting compliant businesses at a disadvantage. Human-rights abuses continue to occur despite these standards, the New York-based nonprofit claimed.

Ultimately, only mandatory rules — at a national or regional level — will “create a level playing field and move the whole industry in the right direction,” HRW maintained. Currently, only a few locations have laws in place or are preparing them, with European Union regulations on human-rights due diligence for minerals coming into force on January 1, 2021, the report explained.

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the industry’s main standards organization, said it was continuously working to improve itself, and noted that any mandatory human-rights legislation would always require the input of industry organisations.

“We strongly believe that a smart policy mix of national and international measures, mandatory regulation and industry initiatives is needed to achieve positive impact in the global jewelry and watch supply chain,” the RJC told Rapaport News Wednesday.

HRW also emphasized the importance to consumers of publishing information about suppliers, arguing that doing so sends a message that the jeweler is willing to be accountable for human-rights abuses in the supply chain.

However, most of the 15 companies HRW assessed for the report were unable to trace their gold and diamonds to the mines of origin, and were thus unable to monitor workers’ conditions at these deposits. Only Pandora and Tiffany & Co. published the names of their gold and diamond suppliers, the group stated.

Image: Jewelry production. (Shutterstock)
Comment Comment Email Email Print Print Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Share Share
Tags: European Union, hrw, human rights, Human Rights Watch, Jewelry, Juliane Kippenberg, new york, Pandora, Rapaport News, Responsible Jewellery Council, retail, RJC, standards, Tiffany, Tiffany & CO.
Similar Articles
JBT Image 2US Jewelry Trade Continues to Contract
Jan 24, 2021
The US jewelry industry continued to downsize in the fourth quarter of 2020, with 91 companies leaving the business,
Comments: (0)  Add comment Add Comment
Arrange Comments Last to First
© Copyright 1978-2021 by Rapaport USA Inc. All rights reserved. Index®, RapNet®, Rapaport®, PriceGrid™, Diamonds.Net™, and JNS®; are registered TradeMarks.
While the information presented is from sources we believe reliable, we do not guarantee the accuracy or validity of any information presented by Rapaport or the views expressed by users of our internet service.