Conflict diamonds are called such because these diamonds came from conflict-ridden countries that suffer from terrorism and human right abuses. Conflict diamond are also otherwise known as blood diamonds, because many people have died or have been killed by several groups that want to control the diamond trade in Africa. The money from conflict diamonds is also used to fund illegal activities for military and terrorist groups in different African countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The citizens of these countries then suffer at the hands of these groups.
For these reasons, it is important to stop the sales of conflict diamonds. There are efforts being made by the United Nations, including several South African countries, to stop this kind of trade. The South African countries determine all the origins of the rough diamonds in the market, then stop its refining process and distribution if it is established that it came from conflict areas. They have devised a process known as the Kimberly Process, which aims to track the rough or uncut diamonds that enters another country. The shippers then have to provide documentation proving that these diamonds did not come from a conflict country before being allowed entry.
Despite all the potentials being seen in the Kimberly Process, not all countries are participating in this program. You should note that this is quite normal because the Kimberly Process is a comprehensive program that requires the complete cooperation of dozens of governments and agencies for it to work perfectly. Not all countries can agree to all the terms of the Kimberly Process. You should also note that despite all these setbacks, the Kimberly Process has achieved remarkable developments in stopping the trade of conflict diamonds. In time, the Kimberly Process can be a significant force in minimizing the illegal diamond trade.
While there are programs being implemented to stop the illegal diamond trade in Africa, consumers should also do their part in stopping these activities by avoiding the purchase of conflict diamonds. Currently, the retailers of diamonds cannot give consumers the assurance that the diamonds they are buying did not come from a conflict area. However, consumers have the power to change that - if they demand the necessary information that can prove that the diamonds they buy did not come from an illegal trade. The act of demanding information alone sends an important message that consumers are not willing to settle for blood diamonds. Changes in the way diamonds are traded will not happen instantly. But when consumers are committed, it is inevitable that change will happen and lives will be saved.
There are consumer programs being implemented nowadays to assure the consumers that the diamonds they are buying are not conflict diamonds. One noteworthy program is a Canadian program named Voluntary Code of Conduct for Authenticating Canadian Diamond Claim. This program verifies that a diamond came from Canada and not anywhere else. Similar programs should be implemented worldwide to ensure that there would be no more conflict diamonds for sale in the future.