The Kimberley Process (KP) is an international initiative established to address the issue of conflict diamonds, which are also known as "blood diamonds." These are diamonds that are mined in war zones or areas of conflict and are used by rebel groups to finance armed conflict against legitimate governments. The Kimberley Process aims to prevent these conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade and thus help minimize the financing of conflicts and human rights abuses associated with their trade.
The key objectives and reasons for the creation of the Kimberley Process include:
Conflict Prevention: One of the primary motivations behind the Kimberley Process was to prevent the trade in diamonds from contributing to violent conflicts and civil wars in diamond-producing regions. Conflict diamonds have been linked to conflicts in countries such as Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the proceeds from diamond sales funded rebel groups and prolonged conflicts.
Human Rights Protection: Conflict diamond mining often involves human rights abuses, including forced labor, child labor, and inhumane working conditions. The Kimberley Process was established to help address these human rights concerns by ensuring that diamonds entering the legitimate trade are sourced ethically and responsibly.
Economic Development: The illicit trade in conflict diamonds can undermine the economic development of diamond-producing countries. By preventing the trade in conflict diamonds, the Kimberley Process aims to promote sustainable economic development in these countries through legitimate diamond trade.
Consumer Confidence: The existence of conflict diamonds tarnished the reputation of the diamond industry as a whole. The Kimberley Process was created to restore consumer confidence in the diamond market by ensuring that diamonds were sourced from conflict-free areas.
International Cooperation: The Kimberley Process was established through international collaboration among governments, the diamond industry, and civil society organizations. It represents a coordinated effort to address a complex and global challenge.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was launched in 2003 and involves governments, diamond industry participants, and civil society organizations working together to implement measures that prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade. Participant countries commit to implementing regulations, controls, and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that diamonds are sourced from conflict-free areas and transported with proper certification.
While the Kimberley Process has made progress in raising awareness about conflict diamonds and reducing their trade, it has also faced criticism for shortcomings in enforcement and for not fully addressing other issues related to diamond mining, such as environmental concerns and labor rights. Efforts to strengthen and improve the Kimberley Process continue to be a topic of discussion within the international community. To learn more about the Kimberley process the Kimberley process website.