1. Introduction

Aligned with WJI 2030’s core pillar of accelerating the human rights agenda and working towards responsible supply chains, the Navigator provides guidance, tools, and insights from experts and members related to the prevention and mitigation of human rights impacts in company operations and value chains, to contribute to the resilience and wellbeing of communities involved.

It builds upon existing resources, including the European Union guide to human rights for small and medium-sized enterprises, and aligns with the OECD guidance and the UNGPs’ human rights due diligence requirements as per the European Commission’s draft corporate due diligence directive.

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What does the Navigator cover?

This tool covers the following elements:

  • Overview of industry human rights salient impacts and the importance of addressing them.
  • Implications of a changing regulatory landscape for members related to developing strong and future-fit human rights programs.
  • Best practices related to carrying out due diligence in watch & jewellery value chains, including access to tools which can be adapted and re-used in your company, presenting detailed tips and recommendations for beginners and more advanced companies, at each step of the due diligence process.
  • Answers to most common questions and challenges.
  • Additional useful resources to progress with the integration of human rights best practices in company activities.

Who should use the Navigator?

The Navigator is a living document which helps meet the expressed needs of all WJI 2030 members, covering different positions in the value chain (Maison-level, retailers, refiners, cutters and polishers, manufacturers, etc.); differing levels of maturity (from beginning to more advanced); and various company sizes (such as SME’s, ateliers, or global Maisons). It is also made freely available to all in the watch and jewellery industry who seek to strengthen their Human Rights policies and practices.

What are Human Rights and why are they important?

Human Rights are basic rights, inherent to all human beings regardless of place of birth or residence. They are defined and protected under international human rights law through declarations and treaties signed by governments such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICECSR).

While governments have the duty to protect individuals against human rights abuses by third parties, businesses are increasingly expected to respect human rights, and to prevent harm to people that are connected to their business activities.

Unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are a voluntary global standard of expected business conduct regardless of business size, sector, or geography. ​The UNGPs state that companies should avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should address adverse impacts with which they are involved with, including by providing remedy.

The responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights refers to internationally recognized human rights – understood, at a minimum, as those expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Particularly relevant for the industry is also the universal framework set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

It is essential for businesses to show a commitment to upholding human rights in order to promote a just, equitable, and sustainable environment. Neglecting human rights in operations can lead to a range of detrimental outcomes for all rightsholders. There is growing evidence of the benefits to business of respecting human rights such as reduced legal risks, reputational benefits, greater interest and retention of top talent.

Why you need to conduct human rights due diligence.

Human rights due diligence is a critical step to implementing the UNGPs, and is increasingly expected of companies by various stakeholders, including investors and regulatory requirements. Human rights due diligence also allows to:

  • Inform strategic decision-making.
    Business will make better decisions about operations, expansions, and investments when it understands the human rights risks and impacts of those decisions.
  • Get a picture of business structure and impacts.
    HRDD contributes to clarify the company’s human rights risk profile, particularly in lesser-known areas such within the supply chain.

Overview of the Watch and Jewellery Industry

The process of creating jewellery and watches is a complicated one, with supply chains often spanning multiple countries. Raw materials, such as gold, diamonds, and other minerals used in the production process are sourced from multiple countries before being refined and processed in various locations. The materials are then transformed into jewellery in manufacturing plants or artisan workshops before being sold in retail stores. However, given the complexity of supply chains it is often difficult to determine where these materials originated from or how they are sourced.

Due to the nature of the watch and jewellery industry, a range of salient impacts are to be monitored and evaluated, from working conditions, to compulsory work and land acquisition.