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Commentary: Human rights questions jewellers should answer ahead of Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the UK, and many people will be heading to the nearest high street to buy their mum a nice piece of jewellery.

But before buying a necklace or bracelet, we want people to ask their jeweller: Where does this gold or diamond come from? And what have you, as a jeweller, done to find out about any human rights abuses where it was mined?

The conditions under which gold and diamonds are mined can be brutal. Human Rights Watch has documented how children have been injured and killed mining precious minerals; how civilians have suffered in war as armed groups have enriched themselves through mining; and how communities have been poisoned by mines emitting toxic chemicals...

We found that companies’ jewellers often cannot identify where their gold and diamonds originate and rely on the assurances of their suppliers that their gold and diamonds are free of human rights abuses, without verifying these claims. In many cases, companies also fail to publish information on their sourcing practices...

Jewellery companies should ensure they have traceable, transparent supply chains that are regularly checked for human rights abuses.

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