Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are diamonds that are mined in war zones or under conditions of human rights abuses. The trade in blood diamonds has been linked to human rights abuses, such as forced labor, child labor, and the funding of armed conflicts. The sale of blood diamonds has been a major source of funding for wars and insurgencies in Africa, leading to violence and instability in many parts of the continent. In response to this major problem, the diamond industry now abides by the Kimberley Process.
The Kimberley Process is a global initiative aimed at preventing the trade in blood diamonds. The Kimberley Process was established in 2003, following a meeting in Kimberley, South Africa, of diamond-producing countries, diamond traders, and civil society organizations. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a set of requirements that governs the trade in rough diamonds.
Under the Kimberley Process, participating countries agree to set up a system of controls for the export and import of rough diamonds. These controls are designed to ensure that diamonds are not used to fund conflicts or human rights abuses. Each shipment of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate, which verifies that the diamonds are conflict-free.
The Kimberley Process has had success in reducing the trade in blood diamonds. The vast majority of diamond-producing countries now participate in the scheme, and the trade in blood diamonds has decreased significantly since the establishment of the Kimberley Process. However, the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process has been questioned by some critics.
As with any major global problem, no solution is perfect but nonetheless it has been a major step in the right direction to ending to violence and corruption surrounding our beloved diamond industry.
In conclusion, the trade in blood diamonds has been a major source of conflict and human rights abuses in many parts of the world. The Kimberley Process is a global initiative aimed at preventing the trade in blood diamonds, and has had some success in reducing the trade in conflict diamonds.
If you’re passionate about having a diamond that is indeed conflict free; ask your jeweler to check with their diamond suppliers that they do indeed comply with the Kimberley process and are sourcing from the proper channels.