The Devastating Truth About Blood Diamonds
Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are mined in war-torn areas and sold to fund armed conflicts. They are often used to purchase weapons and other equipment for armed rebels or insurgent groups.
This trade is most prevalent in Africa’s central and west regions, especially Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has resulted in the death of countless civilians and contributed to a host of human rights violations.
What is a blood diamond?
The term blood diamonds refers to a specific type of conflict diamond that was mined in an area where there is a civil war. Usually in western and central Africa, diamonds are sold to fund rebel groups or warlords.
In many cases, they are also smuggled into the world market by traders that do not certify their origin. In this way, they intermingle with legitimate diamonds that are mined and traded legally.
Despite a global effort to ban conflict free diamonds in 2003, the industry continues to exist and is fueled by illicit trade. It is a crime against humanity and is largely the result of a lack of regulation in countries where rough diamonds are mined.
This is a serious issue because blood diamonds are linked to human rights abuses and brutal wars that kill innocent people. They are also a major contributor to forced labor, child soldiers, and unsustainable mining. It is a problem that will not be fixed until all companies involved in the diamond trade change their practices and act accordingly.
Why are they called blood diamonds?
Blood diamonds are the name given to diamonds that were mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invasion force, or a warlord’s endeavor. They are also called conflict diamonds, brown diamonds, hot diamonds, or red diamonds.
They are often sold to smugglers who take them to neighboring countries and then sell them on the international market. They are illegal and can have links to human rights abuse and terrorism.
During the 1990s, brutal civil wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone highlighted the role diamonds played in funding rebel forces. The UN banned the sale of blood diamonds from Angola in 1998 and banned diamond purchases from the Republic of the Congo from 2004 to 2007.
Since then, a number of governments and consumers have worked to ensure that diamonds don’t support or encourage violence. A large part of this has been done toonily through the System of Warranties and the Kimberley Process.
How do I know if a diamond is a blood diamond?
While diamonds are commonly associated with romance and celebration, they’re also a product of violence, forced labor, and environmental degradation. This is why it’s important to choose ethically sourced diamonds when purchasing your wedding jewelry.
The best way to ensure that your purchase is conflict-free is to shop with retailers who are committed to selling conflict-free diamonds. They should be willing to answer all your questions and demonstrate policies in place that guarantee their diamonds are conflict-free.
In addition, you should check for a Kimberley Process certification certificate. This is a tracking system that ensures that diamonds are mined and shipped in a humane, legitimate manner.
If your diamond comes from an area like Angola, Zimbabwe, or the Democratic Republic of Congo that has been known to engage in human rights abuses, it may be a blood diamond. Look for diamonds that have been responsibly mined in countries like Canada, Namibia, and Botswana instead. These countries abide by strict labor and environmental standards.
Where are used blood diamonds now?
The term blood diamond was coined in the 1990s, when civil wars swept through three African countries–Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone–where rebel groups seized control of diamond-rich areas. Rough diamonds from those conflicts were smuggled into other countries, where they were mixed with legally mined gems and sold to the global market.
As a result, these gems helped fund the insurgent groups and fuel violence that led to human rights abuses, genocide and terrorism. This is why the Kimberley Process (KP) was launched.
It is a program that allows governments to certify rough diamonds as being conflict-free or not. It is an important step in the effort to fight against blood diamonds.
However, despite its efforts, it has come under attack in recent years. Critics claim that the process is not effective and that there are loopholes in the system that allow diamonds from conflict zones to pass through it into the hands of consumers.