Monday, October 25, 2010

Blood (conflict) diamond facts

Blood diamonds are often also called conflict diamonds and this term became widely known thanks to the Bond movie "Die Another Day" that had its scenario based on smuggling conflict diamonds, and afterwards on excellent movie called "Blood Diamond" starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

Official UN definition of conflict diamond is "diamond that originates from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council".

Blood diamond is any diamond that originates from the war affected area. Many rebels have used blood diamonds to fund their cause and they used civilian population (mostly children) to work for them as slaves and prisoners. These children had been taken from their families and forced to dig alluvial pits just so they could get their hands on precious diamonds, and thousands of children in Africa were suffering because of this precious gemstone.
The especially affected was Sierra Leone where the trade of blood diamonds (which were used for funding rebel armies) lead this poor country to a bloody civil war. For many years the world only watched brutal RUF which used blood diamonds to fund their paramilitary causes were finally stopped by more than 17 000 foreign troops that disarmed them and gave this country a chance for new beginning. Soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) practiced inhuman methods of conduct as young girls starting at the age of 10 were raped into submission while boys were forced to execute their village elders and even parents to cut them off from their "old family" and be part of their new rebel families.

In December of 2000, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of rough diamonds in furthering the conflicts in specific areas in Africa and the General Assembly came up with a resolution aiming to severe the connection between the illegal sales of diamonds and wars in concerned areas. With this resolution in place, countries that buy diamonds from Africa were forced to became more aware of the illicit trade as international sanctions were put in place. In addition to these sanctions, individual countries set up their own methods and processes to curb the practice of trading conflict diamonds. The idea is that if no one will buy, then no one will sell. People who take advantage of conflict diamonds would have no market and thus the practice would stop.

Number of conflict diamonds has lately decreased significantly but conflict diamonds still exist. Many diamond buyers would like to ensure that the diamond(s) that they are buying is conflict free diamond. But there are no visual differences between conflict diamonds and conflict free diamonds. This is the reason why you need to ask diamond jeweler to provide you the adequate documentation (diamond certificate) from which you can see the origin of the diamond you plan to purchase, so you can be sure that this diamond doesn't come from the areas affected with civil wars.

Blood diamonds do not look like this, and without the diamond certificate you cannot be sure whether you are buying conflict-free diamond or not.


Anonymous,  November 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM  

Thanks for this information. "diamons are a girls best friend" comes at a high price for the people that are digging for them.

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