Valentine's Day massacre

Where do the Valentin's Day gifts made of gems and semi-precious stones come from?

Mostly they come from India. In small home-based workshops workers, including children, are paid just 17 to 33 US cents an hour to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: Squatting in front of primitive grinding wheels, using their fingers to press agate and other semi-precious stones against the wheels to shape them. In the process they are covered with silica dust.

Thousands of men, women and children in India have died miserable deaths due to silicosis, while polishing gemstones for export to the US.

Read more on the National Labour Committee website

Download the report on Gemstone workers in India [8 Mb]