Dear Fellow Beaders/Crafters/Jewelry Makers:
Most of us occasionally buy and work with gold, even small amounts. I am proud to work at Human Rights Watch (my day job) and one of my colleagues, Juliane Kippenberg, has recently completed a large research project on child labor in artisanal gold mines in Mali.
This complements the work HRW has done on the more corporate side of gold mining in Congo.
Please take some time to watch this report on Brian Williams' program about artisanal gold mining.
If you are interested and want to learn more about mining in Mali, please read more here.
The bottom line: what can we do?
WE CAN ASK BEFORE WE BUY!
This is the best way to get word down the supply chain that consumers care. Think of it like you would Fair Trade Coffee or Fair Trade Chocolate.
As you hear on Brian Williams' program, the United Kingdom has a new standard that allows consumers to know if they are buying gold that was not mined using exploitative and dangerous practices.
How will you use this information going forward? Are there other fora where you can share this with fellow crafters? Let's all play a positive role in protecting children around the world.