The World Gold Council, headquartered in London, UK, has published the first standard to establish a common approach by which gold producers can demonstrate that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not fuel conflict or the abuse of human rights typically associated with such conflicts.
Because of its high value and universal appeal, gold is both portable and attractive. Gold is a source of quick money for rebel groups and unprincipled governments. It is easily sold and difficult to trace when melted and reshaped. Gold can be stolen or produced using forced labour and unsafe practices.
The same could be said for diamonds a decade ago. Canada led the creation of the Kimberley Process to stop the trade of blood diamonds, and that initiative has been a success.
The Conflict-Free Gold Standard the Gold Council developed grew out of the same need. Most of the world’s population is appalled when hearing of abuse and mistreatment. News reaches every corner of the globe quickly thanks to the Internet. So, too, will the list of compliant gold producers. Wholesalers, retailers and customers will be reassured that they are not funding human rights abuses.
Go to Gold.org for the introductory brochure and the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. They are available as downloadable PDF files in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.