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RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council): Conflict-free gold

RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council)

The international initiative RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) is an alliance of various gold bullion companies. They stand up for human rights and environmental protection and fight together against corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Aims of the Responsible Jewellery Council

In recent years, the jewelry and gold industry has repeatedly come under criticism, primarily due to reports of human rights violations, child labor and environmentally harmful extraction measures in gold mines. Responsible corporate practices are intended to restore trust and eliminate customer skepticism. The RJC has therefore been in existence since 2009, and as an association of internationally operating companies has established standard principles for the use of gold.

These include: 

  • No use of conflict or war diamonds
  • Prohibition of money laundering, corruption, smuggling and terrorist financing
  • Compliance with human rights
  • Renunciation of child labor
  • Protection of the environment
  • Compliance with legal requirements 

With this "Code of Pratice", the companies want to help improve the living conditions of the miners, guarantee them living wages and at the same time prevent the gold mined and purchased from being used to finance terror and civil war. 

The implementation of the various measures

In particular, the implementation of measures for human rights require firm bases for companies to follow. In addition to the standards of the International Labor Organization, the UN Human Rights Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the internationally recognized SA8000 standards for social management systems are also followed.

This should help to detect and avoid the following violations to a large extent: 

  • Child and forced labor
  • Racial, religious and gender discrimination
  • Unregulated working hours of more than 48 hours per week
  • Wages below subsistence level
  • Inhumane working conditions
  • Prohibition of assembly

Commitment and certification

Compliance with the various standard principles must be observed in both the supply and production chains. For this purpose, it is necessary that all steps are proven and published transparently. As part of a self-monitoring process, the companies involved must, for example, also check their suppliers and the producers under contract and, if necessary, eliminate any existing grievances. This self-audit is followed by a certification audit, in which an independent auditor approved by the RJC verifies whether all necessary measures have really been taken. If this is not the case, this can even mean exclusion from the RJC. Companies that meet all the requirements, on the other hand, receive the certificate for a period of three years. This is followed by a new inspection. This ensures that the requirements are not only met in the short term, but on a permanent basis, and that customers can also rely on this. 

Back to the overview: Environmentally friendly gold


Alternatives to the RJC standards:

cfsi (conflict free sourcing initiative)
LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance