Zimbabwe: Rough diamonds from the Marange diamond fields get detention order by U.S. customs and border protection

Rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields have been hit by the detention orders issues by the U.S customs and boarder protection (CPB). The U.S. CBP issued five Withhold Release Orders (WROs) covering five different products, imported from five different countries yesterday and Marange diamonds were part of the affected products. This action was based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labor. “A major part of CBP’s mission is facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. “CBP’s issuing of these five withhold release orders shows that if we suspect a product is made using forced labor, we’ll take that product off U.S. shelves.

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
29 October 2019

Zimbabwe: Amy and police accused of forcing youths to mine for diamonds in Marange, company denies allegations

Author: Desmond Chingarande, Zimbabwe Daily

‘Marange villagers complain of forced labour’ 24 October 2019

MARANGE villagers have alleged that they are being forced by military personnel to work in the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) diamond fields, a month after the United States raised a red flag on the country and banned the trading of rough diamonds mined in the area. The US barred the trading of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe last month, accusing the country of using forced labour at its diamond fields in Marange.

…“The soldiers and police come in the community looking for youths and illegal miners and take them to the fields to work after promising them that they would share the loot. After working for some hours, they are then ordered to leave the fields. On exiting the fields, security guards would confiscate all the ores and subsequently arrest them,” Mukwada said. “Those arrested are then taken to a military base where they are forced to wash the soldiers’ uniforms, fetch firewood and cook for them for a week or so.” Mukwada said they have witnessed the abuse of youth and illegal miners on several occasions. He also alleged that ZCDC security guards always shoot towards the community to deter villagers from entering the fields.

Read the full post here

Article
7 October 2019

Zimbabwe: Civil society rubbishes claims of forced labour in Marange diamonds fields

Author: Alois Vinga, New Zimbabwe

‘Zim’s civic society group dismisses US forced diamond mining labour claims’ 2 October 2019

CLAIMS by US Customs and Border Protection alleging the use of forced labour in Zimbabwe’s diamond mining sector are a result of confusion caused by small scale miners who misrepresent facts when they are caught, Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) has said. In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Business Wednesday, CNRG executive director, Farai Maguwu said his organisation has not encountered any incidences of forced labour for past seven years.

Said Maguwu: “We have been working in Marange since 2012 and we have not come across cases of forced labour in Marange, be it concerning full time employees, casual contract workers or artisanal miners.” However he explained that the claims could be failure to appreciate that artisanal miners voluntarily get into the diamond concession and when they are caught for trespassing they misrepresent facts leading to issues of human rights violations.

“We have raised several issues of concern regarding the treatment of community members both by the State and mining companies but forced labour is definitely not one of the issues that have arisen,” Maguwu said. The remarks come against a recent move by the US Customs and Border Protection ban of Zimbabwe gems alongside other countries products based on information indicating that the products are produced in whole or in part using forced labor

Read the full post here

Article
1 October 2019

Zimbabwe: Govt rubbishes claims of forced labour at Marange Diamonds

Author: Ray Ndlovu, Bloomberg (South Africa)

‘Zimbabwe Rejects U.S. Claim That Diamond Mine Uses Forced Labor’ 1 October 2019

Zimbabwe accused the U.S. of ignorance after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it’s blocking rough diamond imports from the Marange fields because they were produced with forced labor. “It’s unfortunate that the U.S. authorities have been misinformed or misled to believe that Zimbabwe is mining diamonds through forced labor,” government spokesman Nick Mangwana said Tuesday by text message. “As a government we have a very strong revulsion towards any form of slavery or servitude. To even suggest that Zimbabwe has some form of corporate forced labor is either mischievous or simply ignorant.”

Imports from Zimbabwe are not the only ones targeted by the ban. The U.S. agency listed a range of products earlier Tuesday, from garments from China to gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read the full post here

Article
1 October 2019

Zimbabwe: Marange Diamonds hit by U.S. customs and border protection withhold release orders for forced labour allegations

Author: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

“CBP Issues Detention Orders against Companies Suspected of Using Forced Labor” 1 October 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued five Withhold Release Orders (WROs) covering five different products, imported from five different countries yesterday, September 30. This action was based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labor. “A major part of CBP’s mission is facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. “CBP’s issuing of these five withhold release orders shows that if we suspect a product is made using forced labor, we’ll take that product off U.S. shelves.”

Under U.S. law, it is illegal to import goods into the U.S that are made wholly or in part by forced labor, which includes convict labor, indentured labor, and forced or indentured child labor. When sufficient information is available, CBP may detain goods believed to have been produced with forced labor by issuing a WRO. Importers have the opportunity to either re-export the detained shipments at any time or to submit information to CBP demonstrating that the goods are not in violation.

…Investigations may be initiated a number of ways, including news reports and tips from either the public or trade community. CBP may also self-initiate an investigation into the use of forced labor in any given supply chain. “CBP works extensively with our stakeholders, the media, and private sector businesses to gather information on forced labor in global supply chains and educate importers on U.S. compliance standards.” said Todd Owen, Executive Assistant Commissioner, CBP Office of Field Operations, “And we encourage the trade community to know their supply chains to ensure goods imported into our country are not produced with forced labor.”

Read the full post here