“Diamond companies continue to hide behind the veneer of respectability offered by the Kimberley Process rather than taking responsibility for what happens along their supply chains,” said Amnesty researcher Lucy Graham as the global diamond watchdog gathered for an annual plenary in Luanda, Angola.
“The Kimberley Process was created to stop the international trade in blood diamonds, but it has not even achieved that limited goal. Meanwhile, the ethical problems facing the diamond sector have grown: our report exposed child labour, smuggling, exploitative working conditions and tax-evasion issues.”
Amnesty said in a report last September that armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) were profiting from the country’s internal diamond trade.
It also claimed that diamonds from CAR were finding their way into global markets despite a KP export ban.
Graham was quoted in the statement as saying that despite evidence exposing the clear need for change, the diamond industry reacted defensively to their report and ignored the issues they raised.
“They continue to hide behind the veneer of respectability offered by the Kimberley Process rather than taking responsibility for what happens along their supply chains,” she said.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world’s biggest diamond trading centres, was expected to take over the rotating chair of the KP on 1 January 2016 from Angola.
“Governments like the UAE need to show leadership. This means new laws that ensure companies take responsibility for illegal acts and serious human rights abuses in their diamond supply chains,” said Graham.