Category Archives: Human Rights

Zimbabwe, Diamonds, and the Apologists

A segment of the diamond industry has again placed profit in front of human rights. Showing a sad lack of responsible leadership, the international diamond trade organization World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) today announced that members of the Kimberley Process (this includes the United States) must “resolve their internal disagreements” and “without any further […]

Save the date for Global Activism Expo 2011

Hosted by Worldview’s Jerome McDonnell, WBEZ once again presents this remarkable celebration this Saturday, April 30 2011, from 12pm to 6pm at The UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Road in Chicago -complete with food, music and over 100 Chicago-area Global Activists, all featured guests of Worldview’s Global Activism Series. On the air for over seven years now, the […]

1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei

This Sunday afternoon from 1pm to 2pm, in front of Chinese consulates and embassies throughout the world, citizens are planning a peaceful global sit-in to protest the ongoing detention of internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who has been missing since his arrest early on April 3, 2011, in Beijing. The action is inspired by Ai […]

Child Labor in Burma’s Ruby Trade

When I offered testimony during a Congressional hearing in 2007 on the legislation to ban the import of Burmese rubies, I outlined numerous examples of human rights abuses being committed by the brutal military regime that controlled Burma’s gem trade. This legislation, The Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, passed a short time […]

Zimbabwe Diamonds: Human Rights Efforts Blocked

The US government has been at the forefront in trying to keep human rights issues tied to the diamond trade on the Kimberley Process agenda. Yet despite these ongoing efforts, Zimbabwe, along with South Africa and Namibia, blocked efforts that would have allowed the US from becoming vice-chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which […]

Burmese Ruby: Still banned in the US

Despite an increasing number of Burmese rubies showing up for sale in the United States in recent months, the US sanctions that ban the import of this precious gemstone are still firmly in place. According to the US Department of State, the United States government remains firmly committed to upholding these sanctions until the country’s […]

Kimberley Process rewards Zimbabwe’s bad behavior

This week, Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General Johannes Tomana formed a five-member panel of “legal experts” (all with connections to Robert Mugabe and senior Zanu PF officials, including Mines Minister Obert Mpofu) to explore treason charges against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the man who ostensibly is part of a power sharing agreement with the country’s dictator Robert Mugabe. Treason […]

CARE reception for Dr. Helene Gayle

Last evening we attended a private reception here in Chicago for Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA. Dr. Gayle was recently named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” and is an amazing advocate addressing poverty and disease throughout the globe as well as a compelling speaker. CARE is a […]

Mugabe’s Diamonds: Why can’t they play nice?

Earlier this week, Zimbabwe’s president and long-standing dictator, Robert Mugabe, warned the US and UK that, “unless you remove sanctions we will take 100%.” This relates to the fact he and his allies currently hold a 50% share in Zimbabwe’s parastatal enterprises vying for control of the hotly contested Marange diamond fields, making them subject to […]

“The Lady” is Free at Last

Today, Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi walked free from her house arrest in Burma. Elected to be the leader of Burma in 1990 yet blocked from serving by the military regime who refused to cede power, Daw Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the last 20 years in detention. To quote The Guardian‘s […]