German company Christ gets a poor ranking from the Human Rights Watch

Christ ranking by HRW – Weak

Christ is one of Germany’s largest jewelry companies, with about 220 stores. It also recently opened stores in Austria and the Netherlands. Christ was acquired by the private equity group 3i Group in 2014 and had a revenue of approximately $490 million in 2014.

Christ responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information with a detailed written letter and met with Human Rights Watch staff in person and by conference call.

Story continues below
Advertisement

Christ has a supplier code in place and sources predominantly recycled gold. The company shares almost no information about its supply chain and human rights due diligence publicly, though it has informed Human Rights Watch that it is planning to publish its supplier code of conduct and other information on responsible sourcing in the coming year.

On the basis of the available information and discussions with the company, Human Rights Watch considers Christ’s human rights due diligence to be weak.

Supply chain policy: Christ has a code for suppliers that requires compliance with International Labour Organization standards regarding a wide range of labor rights, which are spelled out in detail. It also briefly mentions Christ’s commitment to the environment and human rights more broadly.

The Code obliges suppliers to comply with its provisions and authorizes Christ to conduct unannounced compliance checks.However, Christ has not made the code public.

Chain of custody: Christ sources its gold almost entirely from recycling. Diamond suppliers must be in compliance with the Kimberley Process. It does not trace its diamonds back to the countries or mines of origin.

Assessment of human rights risks: Christ relies on its supplier code as a tool to assess human rights risks, and does spot checks during visits with suppliers, but does not monitor adherence systematically. The company does not visit mines of origin and states that it has not identified any human rights risks in its supply chains so far.

Response to human rights risks: Christ’s supplier code threatens sanctions, including ending the business relationship, if the supplier does not meet its requirements. According to correspondence from Christ, the company has not ended a business relationship due to human rights concerns in the supply chain.

Third-party verification: The company has not had audits to verify compliance with standards on responsible sourcing or mining.

It is not a member of the RJC.
Report annually: Christ does not report publicly on its efforts around human rights due diligence. However, in October 2017, Christ informed Human Rights Watch that it intends to share information on its sourcing practices on its website.

Publish suppliers: Christ does not publish the names of its direct suppliers, citing nondisclosure agreements. Christ shared the names of some of its refiners with Human Rights Watch on a confidential basis.

Support for artisanal and small-scale mining: Christ does not participate in a dedicated program to source from artisanal and small-scale mines or support initiatives for responsible small-scale mining.

Authors

*

Top