For centuries, diamonds have been used to symbolize love, beauty, and power. However, illegal trading and unsafe mining practices have tarnished the industry. Conflict diamonds, also known as blood or rough diamonds, are the main reason Kimberly Process was established. Conflict diamonds are illegally traded to finance wars against legitimate governments. Conflict diamonds are mined using slave labor, exposing miners to toxic wastes, causing death or severe long-term health conditions. Unfortunately, when these diamonds are exported to target countries, it isn’t easy to distinguish them from legitimate diamonds.
Therefore, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a coalition established to unite governments, civil societies, and the diamond industry in general to eliminate conflict diamonds. The KP represents 81 countries globally currently and is open to all countries willing to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds. However, members must abide by a few guidelines that include:
• Only trading with participants who have met the minimum guidelines set by KPCS
• Certifying all their shipments as conflict-free
• Always committing to transparency and the exchange of crucial statistical data
• Implementing import and export controls to halt the flow of blood diamonds
• Enacting national regulations or legislation to curb the problem
With no permanent offices and staff, Kimberley Process’s main objective is to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds. Chaired by a member country on an annual, rotating basis, KP meets twice yearly for Plenary and intercessional meetings.