Watchmakers at Baselworld Should Reveal Where Their Gold Is From and What They Do to Protect Human Rights

Source: Jewelers, Take Responsibility!

We found that many companies don’t know where their gold and diamonds are coming from, and don’t do enough to assess human rights risks. In addition, jewelry and watch companies—including Bulgari, Chopard and Harry Winston– often publish only some sparse, general information about human rights risks in their supply chains.  Some companies, such as Rolex, don’t publish any information about their supply chains and company responsibility.
When we contacted the 13 companies more than a year ago, many pointed to their certificationby the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). These companies considered their RJC certification proof of responsible sourcing. The RJC is an industry group with over 1,000 members that certifies members for carrying out its “Code of Practices” standard. But the standard is broad and imprecise, and does not require companies to fully trace the source of their minerals. There is little monitoring to ensure that companies are following the RJC’s code. It even falls short of the guidance on mineral supply chains by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

All jewelry and watch companies have a responsibility regarding their supply chains. Consumers increasingly demand responsible business conduct. And not only that—international norms about “due diligence” make clear that companies should assess human rights risks in their product chains and ask

their suppliers to provide them with detailed information about all steps back to the mine.

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