Diamonds, when set in jewelry, are marketed as symbols of love, beauty and commitment. This is their final stop on a long journey that is often not so sparkling, as evidenced by the testimonies of Progress, Ibrahim and Héritier in this video. They were brave to share their stories, which are unfortunately far from unique. Tens of thousands of people who live where diamonds are mined, across the globe, continue to live with conflict today. For them, diamonds do not represent love; they symbolize harm to their lives, livelihoods and environment.
20 years ago, the Kimberley Process was created to stop the flow of conflict diamonds. For people like Progress, Ibrahim and Héritier, however, the Kimberley Process has no relevance, nor does it offer any prospects of improvement. The Kimberley Process does nothing to address or even recognize the harms and abuses they face. Rather than making this Process relevant and meaningful through update and engagement, many in industry and government have spent the last two decades looking away.
Harm to communities and human rights abuses make diamonds lose their sparkle. If we want these gems to be legitimate symbols of love, these problems need to be addressed. We need to talk about diamonds
The journey of a stone from mine to finger
The mine, where the journey begins, and the market, where diamonds are purchased by consumers, are the ends of a complex supply chain. The distance between mine and market is huge, both physically and mentally. Communities living in diamond mining areas know little about how diamonds, which so greatly impact their lives, are marketed and consumed. Equally, those who sell the diamonds know too little about where their diamonds come from or under what circumstances they were mined. An important first step is to close this information gap and create meaningful relationships between the communities at the birthplace of these diamonds and those who sell them.
Help close the knowledge gap today: share the video and join the conversation.
On March 16th we will bring both ends of the diamond supply chain together in the first of a series of virtual events aimed at surfacing the experiences of communities living in diamond mining areas with members of the jewelry industry.
Individually, mining communities and retailers may have little leverage over the industry and governmental actors that have set the seemingly intractable rules of the game. But as the African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
Let us come together on March 16th to develop a new, unified voice in the conversation around the responsible sourcing of diamonds.
If you already have some questions or comments to feed into the upcoming virtual meetings, you can share them here:
20 years ago, the #KimberleyProcess was created to stop the flow of #conflict diamonds, but communities living where #diamonds are mined still suffer harm to lives and livelihoods. #WeNeedToTalkAboutDiamonds. Watch the full video and join the conversation: https://t.co/DggflrocLQ pic.twitter.com/UC4hCIMXkU— KP_CivilSocietyCoalition (@KPCivilSociety1) February 11, 2021
??? On #ValentinesDay #diamonds should represent love, but for many communities who live where diamonds are mined, they represent harm to life and livelihood. Watch our video and share if you care! ? https://t.co/DggflrocLQ pic.twitter.com/lVZmfaTIea— KP_CivilSocietyCoalition (@KPCivilSociety1) February 12, 2021