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Gold and diamond jewellery symbolises affluence, artistry, beauty and love. Jewellery is a coveted gift for loved ones on special occasions such as Christmas, weddings and Valentine’s Day. But the gold and diamonds in our jewellery can also mean…
A group of protesters holds a sign that reads "Active Participation of Communities in Diamond Mining is a Basic Human Right."
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Next week (June 18-22) the European Union hosts governments, the diamond industry, and nongovernmental groups in the diamond-trading city of Antwerp to take stock of the Kimberley Process, the certification process set up nearly two decades ago to end the…
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On World Day Against Child Labor, a Call to Protect Children from Peril

Today is the World Day Against Child Labor, and this year’s theme highlights the global need to improve the health and safety of young workers and eradicate hazardous child labor. Worldwide, about 73 million children work in…
A child walks between bales of tobacco on an auction floor in Harare, Zimbabwe.
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It’s been almost two decades now since governments came together to end the trade in “blood diamonds” that were fuelling several brutal wars in Africa. They set up the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a system of export and import controls for…
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Tobacco Companies Fail to Warn Zimbabwe’s Farmers of Nicotine Poisoning’s Dangers

  Everyone sat on a thatched blanket spread outside under the warm sun, near the tobacco curing barn, with flat farmland, green grass and the occasional tree stretching as far as the eye could see. Admire (not his real name), a tobacco farmer…
A woman sorts dried tobacco leaves in Harare, Zimbabwe while a child sits nearby.
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Summary I hope that my children will go back to school, and become better people, because they can’t do that working in tobacco farming. Tobacco growing is a very difficult field. It makes one grow old before their time. — Anne, 36-year-old hired…
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Government, Companies Failing to Protect Workers, Small-Scale Farmers

(Harare) – Children and adults who work on Zimbabwe’s tobacco farms are facing serious risks to their health as well as labor abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Child labor and other human rights abuses on…
A farmworker stands near a tobacco field on a farm east of Harare, Zimbabwe.
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What Shareholders Should Ask about Company’s Track Record on Human Rights

To British American Tobacco Shareholders: We write on behalf of the nongovernmental organizations Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch to draw your attention to serious human rights abuses we have documented in British American Tobacco’s (BAT)…
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British American Tobacco Shareholders Can Push for Supply Chain Improvements

(London) – British American Tobacco (BAT) should strengthen its processes for identifying and addressing human rights risks in its global supply chain, Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch said today in an open letter to shareholders. At…
An 8-year-old girl sorts and bundles tobacco leaves by hand near Sampang, East Java.
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The World Economic Forum in Davos is discussing human dignity in supply chains today. The question is how companies that use raw materials or other goods from anywhere in the world – and what company doesn’t these days? – can make sure that the rights of…
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December 2014

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to review the draft IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Below are recommendations based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in various countries. Human Rights Watch has carried out extensive research…
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Government Stalls on Cleanup as Workers, Residents Suffer

Workers in many leather tanneries in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital,  including children as young as 11, become ill because of exposure to hazardous chemicals and are injured in horrific workplace accidents, Human Rights…
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They might end up as costly baubles on sale in shops around the world. But for some diamonds mined in Zimbabwe, the journey begins in massive illegal pit mines where men, women, and children are forced to work long days under the brutal authority of…
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The Bush administration is quietly carrying on a major new trade negotiation with Central America that could show -- contrary to the notion that globalization hurts workers -- how international trade deals can increase respect for labor rights. But the…