The Kimberley Process (KP) was created with the aim of eradicating conflict diamonds.
The KP provides rough diamonds with an international certificate of non-conflict diamonds and restricts their import and export to countries other than those that are members of the Kimberley Process. Currently, 82 countries and regions, including Japan, are members of the Kimberley Process.
But did you know that the reality is very complicated and not all of the problems have been solved?
Kimberley Process and Background
The Kimberley Process is a scheme for "proving" that a diamond is not a conflict diamond.
Since the 1980s, there have been many civil wars in Africa, which is famous for diamond mining. One of the things that funded them (to buy weapons) was diamonds.
Since diamonds were the cause of the conflicts, conflict diamonds have been referred to as "blood diamonds" and so on.
Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a movie that shows the very situation caused by conflict diamonds.
Countries that joined the scheme were required to
- The Kimberley Process Certificate must be attached to all imported and exported diamonds.
- Rough diamonds must be exported in sealed containers.
- Not to import or export to non-member countries.
In this way, efforts to reduce the distribution of conflict diamonds began.
In the 1990s, conflict diamonds accounted for 4-15% of all diamonds in circulation, but today they account for less than 1%. This is a certain achievement.
Problems with the Kimberley Process
However, there are a few problems with the Kimberley process.
1. The certification only applies to rough diamonds
Rough diamonds are not defined as conflict diamonds, even if there are illegal or conflict-related occurrences in the cutting or polishing process.
It also means that the certification is applied to a collection of rough diamonds, not to a single rough diamond. In other words, a smuggler can sneak a conflict diamond into an aggregate of rough diamonds that have been certified as not being conflict diamonds and have it shipped.
This means that even if a diamond has undergone the Kimberley Process Certification Program, it cannot be completely identified as a conflict diamond.
2. Funding sources
Only rebel forces were targeted for funding of the conflict. Even if the government is distributing diamonds to secure funding for the conflict, it is not a violation.
In 2006, a large number of diamonds were discovered by a diamond exploration company in the Marange region of Zimbabwe. However, in 2008, the Mugabe regime committed inhumane acts against more than 200 people in order to take possession and control of the region.
Despite this fact, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme continued to allow the sale of diamonds from this region, defining it as not being an act of rebellion.
The Kimberley Process recognizes conflict diamonds as "diamonds that contribute to the insurgency" rather than diamonds that are involved in conflict and human suffering.
3. Child labor and environmental issues are not taken into consideration
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is defined as "preventing the distribution of conflict diamonds" and does not take into account child labor or environmental issues.
One part of child labor is diamond mining. Many children cannot go to school and do hard labor for low wages to support their families. In addition, a lot of soil is dug up when digging for diamonds. This produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which focuses on resolving "conflict" issues, does not take into account child labor or environmental issues.
4. No penalty
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a voluntary scheme run by the member countries, so even if the scheme is broken, no penalties will be imposed. One of the problems is that the scheme is not well policed.
Because of these issues, there are many problems that can occur even with the Kimberley process. It is a system that turns a blind eye not only to the diamond distribution process, but also to human rights issues, exploitation of workers, and environmental problems.
Clean diamonds for conflict, environment and human rights issues
It can be difficult for us to identify and obtain a truly clean diamond. But with lab grown diamonds, it is possible to get a clean diamond.
A lab grown diamond is a diamond that has been created in a laboratory. The composition is the same as that of a natural diamond, the only difference is where it was made.
Lab-grown diamonds have been attracting attention in recent years as ethical diamonds because they address not only conflicts, but also child labor and environmental issues that cannot be solved by Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
Therefore, it is possible for ethical and genuine diamonds to reach our hands.
The Kimberley Process is a scheme for "proving" that a diamond is not a conflict diamond. However, due to some problems related to the system, we can't say that conflict diamonds have been completely eliminated. Furthermore, it is currently difficult to identify clean diamonds to environmental and human rights issues.
Lab Grown Diamond can solve such problems.
With the option of ethical jewelry lab grown diamonds, you can always have a beautiful diamond to wear with pride.
The Kimberley Process: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives
Conflict and Diamonds | Diamonds For Peace