Diamonds and the Global Contract
While looking for information on Global Compact, I found an interesting article corporate responsibility (via). It discusses corporate cupability, and the costs of maintaining responsible business interests inthe developing world. It’s a pretty balanced perspective, all-in-all, emphasizing the need and necessity for business to take responsibility for its own actions, while admitting the difficulties inherent in doing just that.
What’s interesting is that the article talks about DeBeers, a company well known for its exploits in the blood-diamond industry. DeBeers joined in 2000, 4 years ago . . . a quick google search showed the most recent article on DeBeers human rights abuse to be in 2002. A report by Amnesty Int’l highlights problems that date from 2001.
Which is not to say that DeBeers isn’t doing a bang up job of enforcing minimum standards of human rights in the countries it exploits. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the whole situation is that at the end of 2002, all documentation of these problems seems to stop (even at the Global Policy Forum. Tin-foil hat? Of course not. Maybe the problem dried up before I bothered to look, but the most likely answer is that the world got distracted by other problems.
And yes, DeBeers is still a participating member of the Global Contract. Maybe a subject for the weekend, if I have some more time.