The International Colored Gemstone Association has issued a statement condemning the human rights abuses of government protestors in Burma (Myanmar) but also cautioning the jewelry industry from imposing a “systematic” ban of Burmese gems because a number of these stones are reportedly being used to finance the Myanmar military.
Jewelers of America and CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, are among the jewelry industry organizations calling for a ban of Burmese gems. The U.S. government and the European Union are considering trade bans. Non-governmental organizations in Burma are also urging the ban. The United Nations has issued a statement condemning the violence.
In response, ICA issued the following statement:
The International Colored Gemstone Association as an international organization related to colored gemstones fully supports the UN Human Rights Council resolution ratified by the Security Council Presidential Statement of October 11th, 2007 and condemns the violent repression of individuals, human rights and pro-democracy movements in Myanmar.
ICA exhorts its members to desist buying Burmese gemstones from any government sources and marketing organizations.
ICA further warns against any hasty decisions towards a systematic ban to trade with Burmese gemstones and strongly recommends that all parties cautiously consider the negative impact and collateral damage that indiscriminate measures could inflict upon independent and poor populations engaged in mining, processing and trading activities in Myanmar and other countries.