Conflict Diamonds and The Kimberly Process
The Kimberley Process aims to prevent the inclusion of ‘conflict diamonds’ – diamonds that originate from areas controlled by violent, militant forces in opposition to a government or the UN Security Council – in international diamond transactions.
The Kimberley Process derives its name from a meeting of Southern African diamond-producing states in Kimberley, South Africa, in May of 2000 to stop the trading of such diamonds. Since then, the Kimberley Process has imposed strict, long-standing requirements on its members to certify their shipments of diamonds as ‘conflict-free’ before they exit the country of origin and into trade, with some effectiveness at preventing these ‘blood diamonds’ from entering the market.
The Kimberly Process does have its difficulties: many clean-record diamonds are, regardless, mixed with dirty-record ‘conflict diamonds,’ such as those involved in the noted blood diamond operations of Côte d’Ivoire, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
Much of the controversy stems from the Kimberly Process’ unwillingness to refuse trade with known diamond companies operating in these areas of conflict, where diamond minors and the surrounding communities have been killed, mutilated, and forced to engage in military conflict. As a response, many Observers, or members of the Kimberly Process obliged to ensure the process is carried out effectively, have withdrawn their aid from the Kimberly Process so as to charter, or work with existing, diamond certification organizations.
Calvin’s understands the importance of a diamond’s origin. We know not every diamond that passes the Kimberly Process can guarantee its moral verisimilitude; that’s why Calvin’s is also a member of Ethical Pledge, a global campaign to eliminate unethical activity and human rights violations in the jewelry supply chain.