Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Foreign Policy: The New Blood Diamond-RUBIES

Rain forest destruction, sexual violence, child labor, and spread of HIV/AIDS have just been a few of the consequences in the growing trade for precious resources.


Location: Burma

Product: Burmese rubies are famous for their distinctive dark "pigeon's blood" color. Both the United States and the European Union ban Burmese gems, but outside groups estimate the junta still reaped almost $300 million from rubies in the 2006 fiscal year.

Casualties: The brutal Burmese junta, which earns much of its hard currency from the sale of gems, holds direct stakes in many of the mines and conducts official auctions to augment the profits made from illegal smuggling. At the mines themselves, child labor and diseases such as HIV/AIDS are common.

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