Conflict free diamonds or blood diamonds are called this because they are mined and sold to fund civil war, terrorism and other criminal activities. Conflict free diamonds have been the centre of some of the greatest human rights violations in our worlds history. One great example of what is involved in this, can be seen in the movie “Blood Diamond” that was released in 2007 staring Leonardo Dicaprio. Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1996–2001, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces.
Conflict Free Diamonds History
Conflict diamonds captured the world’s attention during the extremely brutal conflict in Sierra Leone in the late 1990s. During this time, it is estimated that conflict diamonds represented approximately 4% of the world’s diamond production. Illicit rough diamonds have also been used by rebels to fund conflicts in Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo (also known as Congo Brazzaville). (read more)
Today, it is estimated that the flow of conflict diamonds has been reduced to considerably less than 1%.
Conflict Free Diamond Kimberley Process
The Kimberley Process started when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in May 2000. They discussed ways to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. This was to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments. Undoubtedly this process was to also provide confidence for consumers about their conflict free diamond when they made their purchase.
In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) . The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The KPCS entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement its rules.