December 8, 2011
The famous phrase “Diamonds are Forever” is known to most people all over the world. What most people do not know is where most of these diamonds are coming from and how they came to become perfect gestures of love and romance. Looking at a clear cut diamond ring, it is hard to imagine the possibility of thousands of innocent people being murdered, tortured, and forced to mine for these stones; but reality has finally checked in and people are slowly starting to realize exactly what is happening in these countries where diamonds are being mined. Conflict diamonds, or blood diamonds, are diamonds which are found in conflict regions with civil wars (Abazias Diamonds, 2011). Approximately 65 percent of the world’s diamonds originate from Africa. Countries such as: Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are the major countries in Africa that provide the rest of the world with blood diamonds (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2000). The blood diamond industry in Sierra Leone is run by the “rebels” of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) who force civilians to work for them in order to supply themselves with weapons, food and cars. The RUF can get away with this by smuggling diamonds into the market. Once the diamonds are mixed in with the conflict free diamonds, it is next to impossible to tell the difference (Minneapolis Star- Tribune, 2000). Countries then buying these diamonds are helping fuel the civil wars. Something had to be done in order to prevent countries wanting to buy diamonds from feeling guilty about civilians suffering over something that is in fact not worth as much as it seems. In 1998, the Kimberley Process was established in order to prevent the trading of diamonds that fund conflicts (Global Witness, 2011). Diamonds that were proven to be conflict free were given certificates that stated they were obtained in areas without civil conflicts. With the...