WE ARE WORKING TO ELIMINATE CHILD LABOR. BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Inexpensive fine jewelry comes at a tremendous cost.
That cost can be measured in the shortened, poverty-stricken lives of the many children who are forced, either through family economic need or barely-disguised slavery, to mine the precious metals and gems, cut the gems, or manufacture the finished objects of beauty that we purchase to celebrate the precious moments of our lives.
That need not be the case.
And because of that, Alara Jewelry’s founder, Babs Noelle, launched a grass-roots nonprofit, the sole goal of which is to eradicate child labor in the jewelry and gem industries, simply by educating retailers and consumers on the prevalence of this issue. EthicalJewels.org does not raise funds or distribute them; they just disseminate the simplest of information.
From the EthicalJewels.org website:
While these horrible practices of subjecting children as young as 5 to dangerous work and miserable conditions are common in certain countries, and while the international community is well-aware of such atrocities, it seems that governmental efforts to reduce their prevalence are stalling in efficacy.
The artisanal mines and sweatshops do not open their doors for activists (or U.S. retailers) to inspect, so it is incumbent upon jewelry retailers to guarantee that no child's life was ruined producing the sparkly goods they offer.
Sadly, we must encourage both retailers and end consumers of fine jewelry to reject fine jewelry containing gems that are mined or cut in specific countries, or crafted partially or completely in countries known for child labor.
It is only through the power of our pocketbooks that the countries in question will either "open up" to international inspections or implement self-regulation that satisfies the international community as being effective and legitimate.
If your jeweler does not know the source of their gems or jewelry....or claims that their goods from the known "culprit countries" are not tainted...please think with your heart. There is another way, one that doesn't involve dirty gold or indentured servitude.
Support a jeweler who supports ethical jewels. Doing so eradicates the cost on our collective conscience.