Swiss seek more clarity on gold trade amid rights concerns
GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s executive is calling for greater transparency and information about imports of gold into the rich Alpine country, warning that the industry has been linked to human rights violations and other wrongs like environmental damage.
The Federal Council issued a report Wednesday on the implications of the gold market on human rights violations in a country that prides itself on respecting human rights and whose refineries can churn up to 40 percent of the world gold-smelting capacity.
Switzerland has imported 65 billion-109 billion Swiss francs (dollars) of gold per year over the last five years from 92 different countries, it said.
The report warned of the industry’s impact on “poor treatment of employees and contract workers,” indigenous peoples’ lifestyles, local communities, the environment and “threats to the state of law.”