Amnesty International report finds conflict in global diamond supply chain

Amnesty International released a new report regarding the global diamond supply chain. According to the report, some diamonds coming out of the Central African Republic, or CAR, have been smuggled and are ending up in global trading centers.

CAR is the area used for this particular study as a lens to view larger issues throughout the diamond supply chain. Amnesty explained that human rights abuses and other unethical practices often lead to smuggling. The report goes on to explore further gaps in the diamond industry that allow conflict diamonds to infiltrate the global supply chain.

The Kimberly Process
The diamond industry created the Kimberly Process in 2003 as a part of a collaborative effort to encourage responsible sourcing. This system was enforced in order to assure potential customers that the diamonds for sale were not used to finance conflict, TIME Magazine reported.

However, despite good intentions, there is still ample room - even with the Kimberly Process in place - for blood diamonds to find their way into the supply chain. The source attributed this to the narrow definition of what constitutes a conflict diamond. Sourcing issues such as child labor, worker exploitation and environmental degradation are not included in the identification of a conflict diamond.

The topic of conflict diamonds, more popularly known as blood diamonds, is no new issue. Diamond suppliers have been working to find a solution to conflict diamonds slipping into the supply chain but as noted, the Kimberly Process may no longer be cutting it.

Lucy Graham, legal advisor for Amnesty International's Business and Human Rights Team, believes the Kimberly Process is generally lacking in its ability to guarantee that armed groups are not ultimately profiting from diamond purchases throughout the supply chain.

These new findings by Amnesty International may bring the conversation surrounding corruption in the diamond supply chain back to the forefront.

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