The Kimberly Process and conflict free-diamonds

The Kimberly Process and conflict free-diamonds

In the 1990s the diamond mining industry faced a huge controversy over “conflict diamonds”. In some politically turbulent African countries, rebel groups have taken control of some of the diamond mines and used the income from diamond sales to fund their operations. Although these diamonds ended up in legitimate channels, they were indirectly funding violent wars and conflicts. The Western media’s widespread coverage of the atrocities has begun to take toll on the reputation of the diamond industry.

In 2002 the Kimberly Process was founded as a reaction by the industry. A set of rules of this international process must be meet by each participating country that guarantees that their trade does not finance rebel activities.

The current 49 participants of the KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme) represents 75 countries around the world and take up around the 99 percent of the total diamond supply.

Experts suggest that after the introduction of this process, the percentage of conflict diamonds fell from around 4 percent to 1 percent of the global diamond trade.

Although there has been important progress through the Kimberly Process in the area of human rights and diamond revenues funding violent conflicts, there is still a long way to go of resolving the intertwined issue of diamonds and rebel groups in some African countries. Human rights group like Global Witness and Human Rights Watch have raised issues and call for a wider focus on the full range of human rights abuses connected to this industry.

Hugo & Haan, along with the global diamond industry, has a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds. Through measures such as the Kimberley Process, which tracks diamonds from mine to market, the industry in partnership with the United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations, polices diamond exports to prevent the trade of illegal diamonds.

At Hugo & Haan, we only purchase polished diamonds through the largest and most respected suppliers who, like us, proudly adhere to and enforce the standards established by the Kimberley Process. All Hugo & Haan diamonds are warranted to be conflict free.

Hugo & Haan is committed to ensuring that the highest ethical standards are respected when sourcing our diamonds. Because of the reported human rights abuses in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond district, our company will not purchase or offer diamonds from that area. As a responsible member of the diamond and jewellery industry, we are working with our suppliers to ensure our consumers receive only the finest goods procured from ethical sources.