Archive

  • In response to Global Witness’ recent report, “An Inside Job”, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) stated  today it denounces the NGO’s accusations that European sanctions may have violated by the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds, originating from the Chinese-owned Anjin mining company, in Antwerp between December 2013 and September 2014.

  • “‘A Game of Stones’ documents these facts not to harm the diamond trade in CAR, but to ensure they are confronted rather than ignored. It acknowledges - and tentatively welcomes - the efforts of the Kimberley Process and the government of CAR, but warns of risks that must be acknowledged and dealt with if genuine reform is to be achieved. It seeks to expose those who view the country’s current troubles as a business opportunity, while urging greater support for those seeking to mend them, including from international diamond companies."

  • The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics of the Central African Republic (CAR) has issued a press release categorically rejecting the allegations contained in Global Witness' report, "Game of Stones", which detailed the NGO's investigation into diamond smuggling from CAR.

  • A new investigative report by Global Witness shows how smugglers are using social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to get diamonds linked to the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) out of the country and into international markets. Representatives went undercover by creating a social media profile for a fictitious diamond buyer that claimed to be based in Antwerp but operates internationally. They managed to speak to several dealers who promised easy access to CAR’s diamonds.

  • Speaking to the new campaign the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) launched at JCK Las Vegas earlier this month, "Real is rare, real is a diamond", Global Witness argues that if diamond industry advertisers truly wish to appeal to their target audience - the millennial generation - then they would be best served by emphasizing the real good that the diamond industry does in the countries in which it mines. "According to the findings, for a generation living in an increasingly transient and virtual world, lasting and authentic connections are increasingly elusive and inversely desirable.

  • At the end of March, Apple released its third Conflict Minerals Report. Often these reports get praised when companies describe themselves as having achieved a “conflict free” status. Apple’s report, however, chooses not to use this description, and we think that’s a good thing. This term ... can be misleading. The reality is that supply chains, particularly in conflict-affected and fragile states, are fluid and ever-changing.

  • Press Release: In his 92nd-birthday interview on 3 March President Mugabe stated that the diamond sector had made $15 billion but the country had only received $2 billion from it and suggested various options for reforms. This came after the Zimbabwe Mining Minister announced on the 22 February that all diamond companies must cease operations with immediate effect after months of wrangling over the government’s proposal to merge all of the companies into one amalgamated entity. "It’s been clear for many years that Zimbabwe’s diamond industry needs to be radically reformed.

  • Global Witness has issued a major report, "Jade: Myanmar's 'Big State Secret'", revealing an industry far bigger than previously thought, worth up to US$31 billion in 2014 alone (for the sake of comparison, the value of 2014 global diamond mining is estimated at $14-18 billion). That is equivalent to nearly half the GDP for the whole of Myanmar, but hardly any of the money is reaching ordinary people or state coffers. Instead, the sector is secretly controlled by networks of military elites, drug lords and crony companies associated with the darkest days of junta rule.

  • European timber companies have helped fund the war in the Central African Republic through lucrative deals with rebel militia groups accused of war crimes, campaign group Global Witness alleges in a new report. It accuses the EU of failing to stop imports of illegal timber to Europe. Timber companies from France, Lebanon and China paid more than $4m (£2.5m) to rebels in 2013 alone, mainly for protection services, the report says.

  • A new report by Global Witness and Amnesty International claims that more than three-quarters of U.S. publicly traded companies analyzed by human rights groups are failing to adequately check and disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals from Central Africa.
    The report, Digging for Transparency, analyzes 100 conflict minerals reports filed by companies including Apple, Boeing and Tiffany & Co under the 2010 Dodd Frank Act (Section 1502), known as the conflict minerals law. The findings point to alarming gaps in U.S. corporate transparency.