Why is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme So Controversial?

In 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was established in order to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the market for rough diamonds. It was created following a Fowler Report and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56. But has it really worked? If so, then why is it so controversial? Let’s take a look at some of the issues and alternatives to the Kimberley Process. Here are some of the key concerns.

Issues with the Kimberley Process

There are numerous problems with The Kimberley process and its standards. Many governments have failed to report the statistics required, which calls into question their commitment to the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process is based on two pillars: member countries implementing their national legislation and the use of the Kimberley System to control conflict diamonds. The failure to report the statistics of diamonds from conflict-ridden countries is a serious issue.

In addition to the problems outlined above, the Kimberley Process also fails to prevent diamond trade from financing military conflicts. The Kimberley Process’ definition of conflict diamond is often outdated or does not include the most important information about diamond origin. Regardless of the definition, the process is not a fool-proof guarantee that conflict diamonds are conflict-free. Therefore, it is essential that the process include independent monitoring of national diamond control systems. False consumer confidence is not going to stop conflict diamonds from being traded. The United Nations Security Council must address this issue. It should embargo all unofficial diamond exports from the DRC and insist on more stringent Kimberley Process monitoring.

Moreover, the Kimberley Process

Moreover, the Kimberley Process is not transparent. Because it relies on less tangible means of verification, the diamonds produced in the Central Republic of Africa may be smuggled out of the country. Because of this, the Kimberley process has little control over these smuggled diamonds. The conflict over the Diamond fields in the Central Republic of Africa has undermined the mutual confidence of industry, national governments, and civil society in the Kimberley process.

In addition to preventing conflict diamonds, the Kimberley Process also fails to ensure transparency. The Kimberley Process focuses on conflict diamonds as a primary concern, and ignores other issues, such as human rights and worker exploitation. This lack of transparency impedes a truly fair diamond trade. Many diamonds are not certified to be conflict-free, which is why they must be traced to ensure their origin.

Alternatives to the Kimberley Process

Many environmentalists and human rights activists have called for more effective and sustainable alternatives to the Kimberley Process. One of the problems with the Kimberley Process is that it does not address the human rights abuses caused by mining operations. There are many issues surrounding mining, including exploitation of workers and impacts on local communities. The Kimberley Process also fails to address environmental degradation and loss of cultural sites. This lack of oversight has led to claims from groups like Global Witness that the mining industry is dirty.

While there are several NGOs working to improve the Kimberley Process, they are limited in their resources and lack background on conflict diamonds. Furthermore, governments are increasingly failing to submit required statistics, which calls into question their commitment to the Kimberley Process. NGOs will argue that these governments should be suspended from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. While this is a noble goal, there are many challenges with the Kimberley Process.

Many countries are unhappy with the current Kimberley Process. This international trade agreement was created to protect the rights of workers in diamond mining. It was later expanded to include a number of other countries, including Namibia and Russia. The Kimberley Process has since been recognized by two UN resolutions and involves many stakeholders. It has also helped to bring light to issues in the diamond industry. However, it is important to remember that many of the countries involved in the Kimberley Process are far from the same.


The Kimberley Process is a complicated and controversial process that involves participating countries, civil society observers, and the wider diamond industry. While the Kimberley Process does a great job at preventing conflict diamonds from entering the open market, it does not address other issues, like human rights abuses and worker exploitation. Although the Kimberley Process has had great success in stopping the conflict Lab grown diamonds trade, some critics question its effectiveness in combating human rights violations.

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