Take Action: Become a "Secret Shopper" for Burma

Today, Black Friday, begins the holiday shopping season. This shopping season, as millions of Americans fill their local stores and malls, please take a moment to help Burma.

We need people all across the country to go into their local jewelry stories and find out which ones still carry "Burma Blood Rubies." Similar to how "Blood Diamonds" fueled civil war in Sierra Leone and other African countries, "Blood Rubies" support the Burmese regime's campaign of ethnic cleansing against Burma's minorities and brutal repression of peaceful monks and democracy activists.

While we are asking you to be a "secret" shopper, in reality there is nothing "secret" about this effort. We simply want you to inquire at jewelry stores in your area if they continue to sell Burmese rubies. Also, it is not a "secret" that there are many good reasons not to buy "Burma Blood Rubies". Here are a few:
  • According to a leading expert, the trade in Burmese gems brings the regime up to $526 million in revenue per year.
  • Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's struggle for democracy, has called for companies to cut ties to Burma to prevent the Burmese military regime from receiving money from unsuspecting consumers.
  • Burma's ruby mining industry is wrought with human rights abuses. The areas surrounding the mines are plagued by "rampant land confiscation, extortion, forced labor, child labor, environmental pollution, and unsafe working conditions for miners. HIV/AIDS, drug-resistance malaria, and tuberculosis are increasingly common in mining areas" as well.
  • Some rubies may have been imported in violation of the "Block Burmese JADE Act" which went into effect on October 26th, 2008. The legislation fills an important loophole in previous laws, by banning the import of all Burmese rubies that were processed in third countries.

For more background on "Burma's Blood Rubies," and our campaign to find out which stores are still selling them, click here.

Take Action: We hope that you can help us, and the people of Burma, here is a link to instructions on how to help.

United States Campaign for Burma

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