Blood Conflict Diamonds

When the film “Blood Diamond,” staring Matt Damon, was released the whole world confessed to the problem of conflict diamonds. But the truth is that the diamond industry known about the problem well before that movie, doing anything to prevent their transmission. Whether or not you saw the movie, blood diamonds will be explained to you with a slight historical survey of the roots of the problem and the means to fight the problem (Kimberley Process).

The problem begins in Africa, the focus of a large diamond mining, but unfortunately the focus of bloody conflicts between armed rebel groups, corrupt regimes and dictators. Blood diamonds, which won various other nicknames (conflict diamonds, war diamonds) are used to finance terrorism and war operations in these countries, and hence their name. However, this picture becomes even grimmer, because the blood diamonds are not only used to finance acts of war, but their mining violates the basic human rights of the residents. Unfortunately, there are countries where mining is carried out in particularly difficult conditions of slavery combining hard work, hard living conditions and poor hygiene and abuse of the workers, sometimes to death.

Angola, suffering from war and political instability, from the seventies, considered as the first conflict that started the phenomenon. It started in 1975, when Angola, which until then was a colony in Portugal, gained independence. From that moment began a civil war that lasted 27 years, and many atrocities have occurred in the country. But Angola is not the only one, the Democratic Republic of Congo found itself in a civil war from 1997 to 2006, the neighboring countries, who were interested in diamonds and other mineral resources of Congo, intervened in the war. During the war, many were employed, under slave conditions, in diamond mining, both by the government and by the rebels. Not just blood diamonds were mined while trampling human rights, but other precious minerals were also mined. More and more countries have entered the dubious list of conflict diamonds as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.

The diamond industry did not remain indifferent in the face of the serious evidence coming from these areas and had taken many steps to isolate and boycott the trade of those diamonds and first and foremost applied the Kimberley Process, which was formulated by the United Nations. Towards the end of the nineties came out various reports that talked about the connection between diamonds and conflict zones in Africa and the violation of human rights. The UN, troubled by this grim picture, began to roll the Kimberley initiative and won the support of the international diamond industry organizations. The initiative was formulated during 2002-2004: the goal of the Kimberley Process is to create a transparent process in the chain of the diamond trade to ensure that they were not originated in conflict areas to boycott and isolate the countries where blood diamonds are mined.

In the process, it was decided of the Kimberley certificate, a certificate attesting to the legal origin of the diamond and ensures that it is not a blood diamond. Of course that in order to allow the issuance of an authentic Kimberley certificate, a huge international cooperation was needed, at which many countries, who were forced to make a change in legislation, international organizations and the diamond industry took partnership. There was also a need to establish institutions for supervising the process. A part of the Kimberley Process prohibited its members from engaging in trade with non-members of the Convention. There are certainly cases in many countries that are partners in the convention, were people, companies and traders were kicked out from the diamond trade organization for their involvement in the trade of conflict diamonds.

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