Human Rights & Environmental Justice Network

Fair Jewellery Action (FJA) has launched as a human rights and environmental justice network serving the jewelry sector. FJA promotes ethical and fair trade jewelry businesses by advocating traceability and transparency in the jewelry supply chain. The new network’s objective is to direct more of the economic impact of the jewelry sector toward regenerating local economies in small-scale, artisanal communities and supporting cultural integrity and environmental sustainability.

Through its communications platform and standard setting activities, FJA will function as a driving force for consumers, making ethically and fairly traded jewelry the only moral choice. It will support jewelers by connecting them with the source of their material and enabling them to see the social, environmental and market advantage of providing ethical products.

According to Greg Valerio, one of the co-founders of the organization, ‘As a starting point, jeweler brands must not lose sight of the simple fact that traceability and transparency are the foundational bedrock upon which any ethical scheme must be judged. If you don’t know where your material comes from, you are morally compromised.’

In addition to supporting jewelers and brands that source in a traceable, transparent manner, FJA will provide the world’s first published and electronic ethical and jewelry manual and education materials to all jewelers and jewelry businesses. It will also provide lecture materials to jewelry students.

FJA will host campaigns to support the rights of indigenous people, communities and small-scale miners affected directly or indirectly by unjust situations involving mining. The network noted that it will be highly focused, supporting only those that it can impact by utilizing social media, its established network of suppliers, ethical jewelers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the press, as well as by conducting action campaigns on the ground.

FJA is currently supporting the rights of small-scale Inuit ruby miners to mine, own, transform and sell rubies from Greenland without prosecution or marginalization at the hands of the Denmark-run Bureau for Mines and Petroleum and neocolonial business interests.

Recognizing that small-scale mining strengthens communities and has the potential to redeem economies in the third world, FJA will also support mining projects enabling miners and their products to reach fair trade certification. The network explained that it will provide financial support, scoping studies and advice from qualified professionals; liaise with locals; offer practical help in launching the projects; and encourage public support through the provision of up-to-date information via the press.

FJA was launched in the U.K. and U.S. by fair trade jewelers and ethical jewelry advocates Valerio and Marc Choyt of Reflective Images in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the U.K. only, the FJA will operate within the charitable trust of The CRED Foundation.

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