“No Dirty Gold” is a project of not-for-profit group Earthworks.
Launched in 2004 it has been strikingly successful in getting jewelers and other retailers to sign on to their ‘Golden Rules’ of responsible gold mining, namely:
- Respect basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law
- Obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities.
- Respect workers’ rights and labor standards, including safe working conditions
- Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict
- Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands
- Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value
- Refrain from dumping mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams
- Ensure that projects do not contaminate water, soil, or air with sulfuric acid drainage or other toxic chemicals
- Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites
- Fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects
- Allow independent verification of the above
Big news came a couple of weeks ago when Target USA, the nation’s third largest retailer, signed on. Way to go!
Target is the 34th major retailer to pledge support.
Jewelers of America, a national association representing over 10,000 jewelry retailers, has endorsed the campaign’s long term objectives.
No Dirty Gold is the perfect example of a responsibly-conducted labour rights campaign. They aren’t letting up either; Costco is next in their sights.
- Dirty Gold (7 Feb 2011) – links to HRW photo essay about the effect of the Porgera Gold Mine on the local community