The hidden costs of jewels: consumer questions on social media insight #BehindTheBling

Already more than six thousand people huddled in the pen to jewellery and watch brands to ask where their gold and their diamonds are coming from.

© Getty Images

How many people know exactly where their gold and diamonds come from?

Not so much, turns out according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). What the human rights organisation even more shocking, is that also the juwelenmerken often can’t tell where their raw materials come from.


This trend wanted to HRW to see changed, and therefore they launched last month, the social media campaign #BehindTheBling. “We want people to think about the origin of their jewelry,” says Jo Becker of the kinderrechtendivisie of HRW.


“There is nothing glamorous in gold and diamonds to be won by workers, often children, in deadly circumstances”

Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch

‘More importantly is that we want the consumer that makes it clear to the brands. We want them to write, tweet and make phone calls to the major companies and pressure so that it will cause gold and diamonds not won in places where human rights are violated, ” says Becker.

Since the launch of #BehindTheBling is the hashtag already has more than 20,000 times on Twitter. Also, more than 6000 people a letter written to one of the brands that the low score received. In those letters they ask for more openness about the origin of gold and precious stones.

Hidden costs

Shortly before Valentine’s day launched HRW), a report on the hidden costs of the jewels of the thirteen major brands. Together earn more than $ 30 billion per year with gold and diamonds.

The report describes the circumstances in which the valuable minerals and metals to be extracted. In the dangerous work in small-scale mines are also children, which in some cases may be injured or even die.

‘The payment is bad, the working conditions terrible, and child labor is no exception”, let Becker know. “There is nothing glamorous in gold and diamonds in this way to be won.’

The report found that jeweler Tiffany’s as only a ‘strong’ score, followed by Bulgari, Cartier, Pandora and Signet, that the label ‘moderate’. Brands such as Chopard scoring ‘weak’, while three brands, including Rolex, not responded to the survey.

Child labour

According to the latest figures from HRW are over a million children at work in mines, a majority for the extraction of gold and precious stones. Most of these practices take place in West and Central Africa.

In Sierra Leone saw IT thousands of boys and young men to work in diamond mines. As payment, they received only lodging, food and equipment.


According to the latest figures from Human Rights Watch, worldwide, one million children at work in mines, a majority for the extraction of gold and precious stones.

The organization has similar situations can illustrate in the Ivory coast where children from neighbouring country Burkina Faso are often being sent to work in artisanal gold mines. According to HRW do they do here ‘slave labor’. Also in Zimbabwe, his children, to work in gold mines under deadly conditions.”

HRW states that the practices are not exclusive to Africa. Also in Myanmar and in India, researchers have found evidence of forced child labour for the extraction of precious stones. In India, children are also employed in the process of sawing, grinding and polishing of gems.

Becker says that the campaign has had positive results has led. So has the German juweliersketen Christ recently agreed to cooperate with HRW to a pure origin of his materials to guarantee. “We have everyone made it clear that we continue with our checks and everyone is accountable, if necessary. Consumers should do that too’, she concludes.

Also read: world Conference on child labour: ‘the Struggle against child labour is far too slow’

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular