There is a question of what is a blood diamond?. Blood diamonds first gained worldwide notoriety during a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone. They served to finance rebel militias’ activities.
Since the 1990s, the diamond industry has made a concerted effort to ban blood diamonds. The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that guarantees rough diamonds are conflict-free.
What is a blood diamond?
Blood diamonds are gemstones mined in areas of conflict that are usually sold by rebel groups or smuggled through organized crime networks to finance armed conflict.
Diamonds are mainly found in central and West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ivory Coast. Human rights organizations have linked no less than four million deaths to the diamond trade in these countries – which is mostly driven by rebel and terrorist groups.
The international diamond industry is striving to raise consumer awareness of blood diamonds and encourage them to purchase ethically-sourced stones. One effective way of doing this is through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
This program is a collaboration among governments, corporations and non-profits to stop the flow of blood diamonds. To comply with its mandates, members must use tamper-resistant packaging and government certificates when exporting diamonds; furthermore, it aims to guarantee that diamonds are lawfully mined and documented.
Why are they called blood diamonds?
Blood diamonds, also referred to as conflict diamonds, are those mined in war zones and sold to fund violence or conflict. They had once been an important part of the global diamond trade.
Blood diamonds were often sold by warring groups, either directly or through shell companies. The diamond industry recognized this issue and took steps to reduce its prevalence.
These efforts began with the Kimberley Process, established in 2003 to ensure that rough diamonds weren’t sourced from conflict zones. While this effort did prevent rough diamonds from being sourced in conflict zones, it did not address the human rights abuse and exploitation associated with diamond mining operations.
Africa, home to much of the world’s diamond supply, has faced an especially dire situation. Many nations there have suffered through brutal civil wars and depend heavily on revenue from the diamond industry for survival. It can be seen as a primary source of funding in these conflict-ridden regions.
How are they mined?
Civil wars often involve rebel groups in diamond-rich countries using blood diamonds as currency to finance their battles. They may also use these stones for purchasing arms and engaging in other illegal activities.
Due to this, blood diamonds are sometimes referred to as “conflict diamonds.” Tracing them can be challenging and they often end up sold through smuggling. The diamond industry has taken steps to reduce production, trading and smuggling of blood diamonds through the Kimberley Process certification scheme.
Blood diamonds remain a serious problem. In some instances, they may pass through multiple hands before being sold to consumers.
Though the diamond industry has made efforts to combat blood diamonds, they still exist on the world market and can easily be mistaken for genuine diamonds.
Where are they used now?
Blood diamonds are still mined in many parts of Africa, where they fund civil wars and human rights abuses.
In 2011, Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie Blood Diamond brought attention to these issues and inspired a worldwide effort to stop the trade in blood diamonds. To this end, the Kimberley Process was created as an initiative between governments, diamond industry representatives and non-governmental organizations in an effort to prevent conflict diamonds from fueling wars.
Since its founding, the Kimberley Process has helped to reduce conflict diamond traffic. Unfortunately, these efforts cannot fully address the underlying problem; ongoing wars caused by blood diamonds continue to claim thousands of lives and leave scars that will last generations into the future.
In addition to funding wars, lab-grown diamonds UK also contribute to environmental destruction and human rights abuses. For instance, diamond miners are often forced to dig with their bare hands into mud or gravel which damages the soil, pollutes water sources, and kills native wildlife.