Jewelry Trade Associations Pushing for Weak Rules on Blood Gold
By Scott Cardiff
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) closed its comments period over a week ago on rules that would require companies to disclose their use of possible Blood Gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Many jeweler comments are now posted online. Even as controversy continues to grow over recent DRC gold shipments smuggled through Kenya and possibly South Africa to Dubai, the comments reveal that several large jewelry associations pushed for loopholes that could allow gold mining to continue to finance conflict in DRC.
The loopholes that these trade groups — Jewelers of America, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, the American Gem Society, and the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association — are calling for include: delaying implementation of the SEC rules for two or three years, furnishing disclosure on special reports (rather than “filing” in annual reports), broad exemptions on scrap metals, exemptions for retailers that contract for or have partial control over manufacturing, and allowing companies to just say they are “unable to determine” the relation of their gold to DRC conflict.
Fair Jewelry Action (FJA) is a Human Rights and Environmental Justice Network within the jewellery sector. FJA promotes ethical and fair trade jewellery business by advocating traceability and transparency in the jewellery supply chain.