Independent non-profit non-governmental organisation Swedwatch,
which focuses on business activities in developing countries, singled out
Caterpillar Inc, Komatsu Ltd and Volvo Construction Equipment, leading providers of machinery to Myanmar’s jade mines, for failing to address abuses marring the mining business in the country.
The 3 companies, major suppliers for the multi-billion dollar industry, “still appear to lack adequate safeguards in their sales, two years after Swedwatch highlighted alarming environmental and human rights impacts of irresponsible jade mining in Myanmar” says the NGO, calling the companies to comply with international human rights standards for doing business in high-risk areas.
Myanmar, and particularly Kachin state, produces 90 percent of the world’s jade gemstones, an industry worth billions of dollars, enriching both conglomerates affiliated to the Myanmar military and their opponents the Kachin Independence Army. Irresponsible mining practices have led to serious human rights impacts including deadly landslides, loss of land and livelihoods, and is believed to worsen acute social issues in the region, continues the report available on the NGO’s website.