That Valentine jewelry you just received. Where did it come from?
You may love that new Valentine ring or bracelet, but have you given much thought to its origin? This author will make you think more carefully about those lovely stones and symbolic objects. Her article says that it is worth remembering that many jewelers betray that love by ignoring the rights and safety of the people who supply them with their raw materials. Too often, jewelers don’t do enough to find out where the precious metals and stones they trade in come from.
The government in Ghana does little to enforce child labor laws, and in fact, buys gold from its own local businesses, knowing that it comes from illegal sites that use child labor. Eventually, the products reach the stores in our shopping malls. It is imperative that jewelers trace the products and research the original mines and the companies’ policies on human rights. These are simply due diligence measures according to business and international groups that follow the norms of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
One good example is the Swiss gold refiner Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux. They purchase Ghanaian gold only from legal artisanal mines, mines that have been checked. If a jeweller tells you that it’s too much trouble, tell him human lives depend on it. And sometimes those lives are very young. Know the facts and you can be truly proud of that new Valentine Jewelry you just recieved.
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