Blood diamonds are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invasion army’s war efforts, or the activities of a warlord.
In 1998, blood diamonds groups like Global Witness brought them to public awareness. This marked the beginning of what would eventually become known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – of which Canada was a major supporter.
They are mined in war zones
Blood diamonds may have caught your attention in the news, a film or from someone you know. These gems are mined in conflict zones and sold to fund rebellions or invading armies’ war efforts.
Conflict ethical lab grown diamonds, also referred to as conflict diamonds, are the product of brutality, corruption and human rights abuses. They have ignited several devastating civil wars across Africa such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire and Central African Republic.
Blood diamonds were a cause celebre in the early 2000s when human rights organizations exposed their role in conflict resolution. Unfortunately, blood diamonds remain an issue today – continuing to affect both miners and residents of mining villages.
They are smuggled into neighbouring countries
Blood diamonds refers to diamonds illegally mined and sold by warlords or dictators for funding their insurgent or military activities. These sales often result in widespread rape, civilian murder, bodily mutilation as punishment, recruitment of child soldiers, and genocide.
In many cases, diamonds are illegally smuggled into neighbouring countries and mixed in with legally mined stones. Once mixed together, the illegally mined diamonds are then sold on international markets.
These illicit gems, once known as “blood diamonds,” have now been rebranded to “conflict diamonds.” Estimates indicate they make up more than 20% of the global market.
Diamonds have fuelled civil wars in countries like Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Liberia. Historians estimate these conflicts cost up to $8 billion annually in natural resources.
They are a serious political and social problem
The term “blood diamonds” is a common shorthand for diamonds mined by enslaved people in war-torn countries like Congo or Sierra Leone. Many of the miners are young children who are forced to work under harsh conditions in unsafe and hazardous mines.
They are further exposed to human rights violations such as slavery and rape, while being used to fund criminal organizations.
Conflict diamonds played a pivotal role in the 1990s civil wars that ensued in countries like Angola and Sierra Leone, with RUF (Revolutionary United Front) engaging in brutal amputation and murder campaigns with them as fuel.
Since 2000, The Kimberley Process – a United Nations resolution – has been working to ban the trade of blood diamonds. Unfortunately, it has failed to address underlying issues of human rights abuses and environmental degradation.
They are a form of corruption
You’ve likely come across the term ‘blood diamonds’ frequently in media coverage. These stones represent corruption that not only harms human rights but also causes environmental destruction.
Blood diamonds are mined in war zones and sold to fund insurgencies, terrorism or military activities. The money generated then goes towards purchasing weapons.
Diamonds can be found in countries like Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. The United Nations and other groups have worked to prevent these diamonds from entering the international market through a government certification procedure known as the Kimberley Process.
The Kimberley Process requires all governments to certify that their rough diamond exports do not fuel violent conflict. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped blood diamond smuggling into neighbouring countries and onto the international market. Overall, blood diamonds remain a serious political and social problem. They are a form of corruption that fuels conflicts, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation. The term “blood diamonds” refers to diamonds illegally mined and sold by warlords or dictators to fund their insurgent or military activities.