|"Diamonds are a once in a lifetime purchase that people often choose as a token of love. I don’t believe people in Britain want this special gift to be related to the pain and suffering of others".
Tom Fyans, Amnesty International, 2006
Cleaning up the diamond trade
The international community is taking action to remove ‘conflict diamonds’ from the global diamond chain. On New Year’s Day 2003, a new international diamond watchdog was launched called the ‘Kimberley Process Certification Scheme’ (KPCS). From now on, rough diamonds need a certificate to prove where they’ve come from.
Find out more about the scheme at www.kimberleyprocess.com
|Supporters of the Kimberley Process already point to successes in Sierra Leone, where diamonds are now checked and sold legally.
© Tuen Voeten/Panos Pictures
It’s a hustle!
Dirty diamond smuggling is too well established to disappear overnight. It’s still difficult to trace the origin of some diamonds, and the KPCS cannot guarantee an end to human rights abuses in the diamond industry. Miners (including children) can still breathe in asbestos dust, and local people can still be evicted to make way for new mines. Neverthless, it’s a step in the right direction.
Looking for the perfect diamond?
At the other end of the diamond chain, campaigns are letting people know how to avoid buying ‘conflict diamonds’.
Akon is supporting a new clothing brand aimed at the hip hop community called the African Annansi Clothing Company, campaigning for cleaner diamonds.
Get the message
What’s the best way to let young people know about ‘conflict diamonds’ so they take an interest, and maybe get involved in one of these campaigns?
||Click on the diamond to download nine ways of spreading the word. Rank them from the most effective (1st) to the least effective (9th) by arranging them on the diamond rank chart.
If you were as famous as Kanye West or Akon what global issue would you get involved in to raise awareness amongst your fans?