Craving Some Bling From Your Honey? Stop Right There: Blood Diamonds are Back

According to a recent article by Greg Campell in Foreign Policy, the UN-sanctioned system in place to protect both mine workers and consumers from conflict diamonds just isn’t working. It’s called the Kimberly Process, and although the UN has touted it as the solution to the ravages of war and slavery, activists have known for years that it’s a miserable failure. Leonardo Di Caprio first brought this issue to our attention in 2006 with his film Blood Diamond, but all is still not well in the world of diamond mining — conflict gems abound.

From Campell’s article:

“Conflict diamonds,” also known as “blood diamonds,” are rough stones mined at gunpoint by slaves and prisoners for the enrichment of those holding the weapons. They were a cause célèbre at the beginning of the decade, when human rights groups exposed the role of diamonds in conflicts in Sierra Leone and Angola, but in recent years the issue has largely fallen off the radar of socially conscious western consumers. That’s not because the situation has improved.

The sordid business of blood diamonds was believed to have ended with the adoption in 2003 of the Kimberley Process, a UN-sanctioned agreement between 75 countries that import and export diamonds, diamond industry leaders and nongovernmental organizations. Its mission is to certify that diamonds on sale at the corner jeweler did not arrive there at the expense of murdered and mutilated Africans.

Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable covers this topic in a chapter called “Are Diamonds (and Chocolate and Roses) Really a Girl’s Best Friend? Giving the Gift of Love Responsibly”.  Since the book won’t hit shelves until March, you can find some excellent information about conflict diamonds by visiting the Global Witness site, and find some gorgeous, sexy alternatives to conflict gems here and here.

Please join Human Rights Watch’s boycott of conflict diamonds. And if you’ve got bling on the brain, learn a bit about how to green your gold here.

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