Blood diamond is a term used to describe diamonds mined in war zones and sold to fund rebel operations. They can also be smuggled into the underground market by organized crime groups.
Director Edward Zwick’s 2006 film, Blood Diamond, portrays the blood diamond industry in Sierra Leone during its civil war. This paper critically examines the representation of Africa in this film by focusing on how the liberal-humanitarian orientation works to demonize black African communities, nationalisms, and governments while constituting a white and largely American subject as the center of ethical value.
During the 1990s, brutal civil wars broke out in parts of Africa where diamond-rich regions were controlled by rebel groups. These groups mined rough diamonds and then sold them to merchants and smuggled them into other countries.
These diamonds were then merged with stocks of legitimately mined diamonds and sold on the open market in order to fund their violent activities. Known as blood diamonds, these gems were used in a variety of ways that included bribes, threats, murder and torture.
When governments began working to end the trade in blood diamond, they formulated the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. This system is supposed to keep blood diamonds out of the world market, but it’s clear that it doesn’t do enough.
Blood diamonds (also called conflict diamonds or hot diamonds) are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance rebels, insurgent armies, terrorism, or a warlord’s activities. These gems have a devastating effect on the environment and human rights.
For example, in the Kono district of eastern Sierra Leone, diamond mining has caused wildlife to vanish and topsoil to erode. Additionally, these mining pits are filled with stagnant rainwater which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
As a result of these effects, organizations and private companies are working to stop the trade in blood diamonds. One example of this is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a government-pioneered safety certificate that requires diamond exporters and importers to adhere to KPCS rules and practices.
A smuggler is a person who makes money by moving things by stealth, often to avoid customs duties or import/export restrictions. The diamond industry is no exception to this rule, and it is a problem that has become more prevalent in recent years.
According to Global Witness, diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR) are smuggled abroad and sold in countries such as Belgium, France, Brazil, Israel and the Middle East. Smugglers often use bribery and forgery to hide their illegal origins.
While the Kimberley Process partially lifted the embargo on CAR diamonds earlier this year, it is still unclear how much of this trade is legitimate and what is actually conflict-free. Until this is resolved, it will remain a major challenge for consumers and the diamond industry.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent the trade of blood diamonds is to look for jewelry that is certified by the Kimberley Process. This is a multi-national effort to prevent the illegal sale of conflict diamonds.
The Kimberley Process was created in 2000 when representatives of southern African diamond-producing countries met to discuss ways to stop the trade in ‘conflict’ diamonds, which were mined and sold to fund rebel movements against legitimate governments.
The KPCS is a joint government and industry-led, internationally recognized certification system that imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as ‘conflict free’. Participants must satisfy minimum requirements, establish national legislation and institutions, and implement import/export controls. They must also exchange critical statistical data and commit to transparent practices.