Stop Illegally-Mined Diamonds
Help stop the trade of "blood diamonds," a resource providing revenue to armed groups and encouraging the use of child
Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
have many mineral-rich areas that could contribute to the countries'
struggling economies. But in many parts of these countries, mining
areas are under control of armed opposition groups. These groups
illegally mine, transport, and export minerals, such as diamonds,
to countries around the world. The profits from this trade are used
by armed groups to buy weapons and continue civil conflicts; thus,
these illegally mined diamonds have come to be known as "blood
diamonds". The continuation of armed conflicts fueled by this
illegal trade directly impacts children, who are recruited to fight
in these armed groups. Children may also be used to mine and transport
"blood diamonds". In other countries around the world, similar groups trade in diamonds,
minerals, and oil helps to perpetuate armed conflicts.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1314 (2000) commits
governments to take measures against the illicit trade in natural
resources. Read the resolution
text. In July 2000, the International Diamond Manufacturers
Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses agreed on
a global certification scheme for rough diamonds in order to clearly
identify their origins. Countries knowingly involved in illegal
diamond trading would lose their export accreditation.
In Moscow, Russia, in July 2001, 34 nations agreed on minimum acceptable
standards for an international certification system, aimed at helping
track sales and exports of diamonds and stopping trade in stones
from countries at war.
Find out whether your country took part in these meetings.
What are your country's policies on illicit trade in natural resources?
Contact a few companies that deal
with these natural resources and find out what they are doing about this issue.
Felicity O. Yost. Source:
Marie, In the Shadow of the Lion, by Jerry Piasecki. ©
United Nations, 2001