Civil society calls on Responsible Jewellery Council to strengthen standards on responsible sourcing of minerals

The Responsible Jewellery Council, an international industry group committed to the implementation of responsible business practices in jewellery supply chains, is currently reviewing its core certification standard for its members. Ahead of the revision, the RJC invited public comments to which Human Rights Watch, along with 20 independent groups and trade unions, responded in a letter to the group’s standards committee. Amongst others, the organisations are calling for the standards to be brought fully into alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas. The letter, as well as Human Rights Watch's comments on the 2018 Draft Code of Practices are available below.

In a February 2018 report, The Hidden Cost of Jewelry, HRW examined responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry and assessed the practices of 13 brands. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the brands named to comment. Their responses are available here.

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Article
28 June 2018

Civil society calls for Responsible Jewellery Council to strengthen its standard for responsible sourcing of minerals

Author: Human Rights Watch

"Jewelry Group Should Raise Bar for Supply Chains", 28 June 2018

The Responsible Jewellery Council, an international industry group, should strengthen its standard for responsible sourcing of gold, diamonds, and other minerals, 18 independent groups and trade unions said today in a letter to the group's standards committee...The organization is reviewing its core certification standard for its members, which include more than 1,000 companies in jewelry supply chains, including mining companies, refiners, manufacturers, and jewelry retailers. The Responsible Jewellery Council's certification standard, known as the Code of Practices, sets out business practices in regard to human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and other issues in the jewelry supply chain. All members must be certified as compliant with the code through a third-party audit. The letter recommended that the code should be brought fully into alignment with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas, including its five-step framework to identify and respond to human rights risks in the minerals supply chain. The OECD's guidance is the most authoritative and widely accepted standard in the minerals sector...."The RJC's Code is full of loopholes and provides no guarantee that jewelry from a member is responsibly sourced," Becker said. "With its current review process, the council should seize the opportunity to bring its code into line with international best practices."

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Article
28 June 2018

Human Rights Watch Comments on the 2018 draft Code of Practices

Author: Human Rights Watch

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Article
28 June 2018

Joint letter to the Standards Committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council

Author: Human Rights Watch et al

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