BASELWORLD takes a stand for human rights.


Organisers of the world famous watch and jewellery trade fair, BASELWORLD, took an unprecedented step this year and refused a company's application to exhibit on the grounds of its poor treatment of its workforce. The Chinese company, Lucky Gems, which has been an exhibitor at the Basel-based event for several years, was turned away from the 2010 event after failing to react to repeated calls to improve conditions for its Chinese workforce. The move follows efforts by the Hong Kong-based non-governmental organisation, Labour Action China (LAC) and the Swiss charity, Solifonds, to draw attention to severe shortcomings in Lucky Gems' approach to the welfare of its employees.

LAC and Solifonds first brought the issue to the attention of BASELWORLD organisers five years ago. Lucky Gems, which cuts and prepares precious stones for the jewellery industry, is accused of failing to provide sufficient protection for employees against the health condition, Silicosis. It has also been cited for firing employees who develop the condition, hoping that by doing so, it can avoid compensation claims...

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