As members of the United States Jewelry Council (USJC), we appreciate the opportunity to share the steps that the USJC and all its members are taking to keep conflict diamonds and diamonds connected to human rights violations out of the legitimate diamond and jewelry supply chain in the United States.
The USJC strongly recommends that its member associations have rules for diamond-trading members requiring compliance with the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and the new updated World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties (SoW).
The USJC’s steps include:
1) Adhering to the WDC’s revised SoW and SoW Guidelines to help address risks not covered by the KP. The new revisions to the WDC SoW strengthen it, so that it not only addresses the minimum requirements and recommendations of the KPCS, but requires additional areas of compliance related to human rights, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering. Under the updated WDC SoW Guidelines, companies must understand and voluntarily implement universally accepted principles on human and labor rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering & counter-terrorism funding (AML/CTF) as per the following international documents:
i. UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
ii. ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;
iii. UN Convention Against Corruption;
iv. AML/CTF laws in line with FATF guidance for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones.
2) Recommending members educate themselves on and use the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The guidance offers detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their diamond purchasing decisions and practices.
3) Requiring adherence to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions, including those connected to diamonds, and ensuring that their business partners are not named on the Specially-Designated Nationals list or other government-issued watch lists. Finally, the USJC has been consistently recommending the utilization of the USJC Source Warranty Protocol. This voluntary inventory management tool, developed by members of the USJC, is used to empower companies to prioritize responsibility and ethics in their sourcing decisions. It is publicly available on the USJC website.
In complying with the above, the USJC Board of Directors believes that the USJC and its collective members are at the forefront of industry efforts to protect consumers from conflict diamonds entering the US diamond supply chain.
David J. Bonaparte, USJC Chair
USJC members include:
American Gem Society
Cultured Pearl Association of America
Diamond Council of America
Diamond Club West Coast
Diamond Dealers Club of New York
Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America
Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association
Jewelers of America
Jewelers Vigilance Committee
Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
Natural Color Diamond Association
Silver Promotion Service