¿Cómo es la minería para joyas en la actualidad?

What is jewelry mining like today?

If we mention labor exploitation, including that of children, the harsh working conditions in the mines, the injuries and deaths caused, the families forced to flee their homes… It is easy to forget that we are not talking about 1850, but about the 21st century. Despite the immense technological progress and our advances in human rights, the situation has not changed as much as it is believed.

About the workers

Since working conditions for adult workers are already subhuman, the sad reality is that they get even worse when it comes to children.

Two forms of violation of children's rights can be distinguished (1): child labor and child exploitation. Child labor arises from the need of families to obtain another source of income, so that minor children work to try to survive. Child exploitation consists of the forced labor of children, perpetrated by their families or by persons responsible for the industries in which it occurs. However, this distinction becomes insignificant when both appear in the mining extraction sector.

If all this is resolved, why are 4 out of 10 children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo victims of child labor in diamond mines ? (2) Why have more than half of Cameroon's children under the age of 14 been subjected to exploitation in gold mines? (3)

Political and armed conflicts continue

In Sierra Leone, civil war sparked by the smuggling of blood diamonds was still raging at the beginning of this century. Conflicts over blood diamonds are estimated to have claimed around 3.7 million lives (4).

Today, the extraction of lapis lazuli in Afghanistan is one of the main sources of income for armed insurgent groups (5): half of the profits obtained reach the hands of the leaders of these organizations. Not being enough, customs and different strategic points on highways are also controlled by the same groups, charging exorbitant tolls to trucks that transport this mineral, in another form of financing and corruption (6).

Our planet has not stopped suffering

Humans are not the only ones to suffer the consequences of mining: the Earth also pays the price. Mining is one of the most harmful practices for the environment , since it affects all its areas: in addition to the erosion and deforestation of large territories, the machinery used for this purpose emits enormous amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute directly to global warming. . There are also numerous rivers and lakes polluted by the mining industry.

Families are displaced not only when an area has to be evicted to create a mine, but also because of the terrible environmental conditions that make the area uninhabitable and because of the armed conflicts that arise.

What can we do about it?

The direct damage caused by mining is enormous and the indirect damage is double. Even if it is about "sustainable" mining , the truth is that this is not possible : no practice where the Earth suffers any damage can be sustainable.

More and more brands are betting on ethical luxury . Despite the fact that it is about putting the focus of responsibility on the consumer, it is the industry that must promote the change . The more support green businesses receive, the more incentivized others will be to switch to sustainable behavior.

Pure and marked values ​​are what define us. We have to trust those who give us reasons for it. At David Locco Diamonds, we do our bit by creating jewelry that only uses sustainable lab-grown diamonds and recycled gold and silver.

Change begins when you join it.


  1. Save the Children: https://www.savethechildren.es/trabajo-ong/pobreza-infantil/pobreza-y-explotacion-infantil
  2. United Nations: https://news.un.org/es/audio/2013/03/1400361#:~:text=Las%20tierras%20de%20la%20Rep%C3%BAblica,es%20v%C3%ADctima% 20of%20child%20work
  3. El País : https://elpais.com/planeta-futuro/2021-11-13/amina-de-13-anos-trabajo-en-una-mina-illegal-de-oro.html#:~:text= The%20%C3%BAlast%2C%20collected%20by%20the,some%C3%BAn%20type%20of%20exploitation%C3%B3n%20labor
  4. Amnesty International: https://www.es.amnesty.org/actua/acciones/diamantes-sangrentados/#:~:text=Se%20calcula%20que%20in%20Angola,3%2C7%20millones%20de%20people
  5. La Vanguardia: https://www.lavanguardia.com/internacional/20160607/402342471904/lapislazuli-afganistan-talibanes.html
  6. Global Witness: https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/gdc/gdcovop/2018306220/2018306220.pdf
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