Saturday, 2 February 2008

Burma's rubies

The scandal over 'blood diamonds' and the link between diamond mining and trading and bloody wars in Africa, including those where young children are used as cannon fodder, provoked at least some reaction from the international community. The Kimberley Process may be an inadequate response, and some of the biggest suppliers of diamonds to the world market may still be finding ways to get round ethical standards, but at least people are starting to know that they need to ask questions about where gems are from.
Human Rights Watch now also has a good backgrounder on rubies, the majority of which come from the famously repressive regime of Burma. Some big name companies have already stated that they won't use Burmese rubies. More information from Human Rights Watch's website at

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