Ingle and Rhode, London jewelers with a commitment to ethical diamond-sourcing, have launched a new infographic to communicate with consumers why a diamond certified through the Kimberley Process does not guarantee it is conflict free.
The infographic draws attention to the fact that while the Kimberley Process aims to guarantee that diamonds do not finance rebel armies, it does ignore funding of oppressive governments, which use diamond wealth to tyrannize their own people.
Tim Ingle from Ingle and Rhode explains, “The Kimberley Process only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by government forces.
”It is important that consumers are aware that the Kimberley Process does not guarantee that a diamond is conflict-free. In order to know whether a diamond has been ethically produced you need to be able to trace it back to its source,” he said.
The graphic focuses on diamond production in Zimbabwe, the seventh largest producer of diamonds in the world. The graphic details the human rights abuses in the area and the amount of money that is suspected of bypassing the national purse, going straight to the president’s allies. Since this conflict does not involve warring rebel militias, the Kimberley Process considers Zimbabwe diamonds to be conflict free.
To build this graphic, Ingle & Rhode presented data about the increase in diamond production in Zimbabwe and looked at some of the political ramifications of the increase in state revenue. Almost $60 million worth of diamond revenue is suspected of bypassing the national treasury completely, going straight to President Robert Mugabe’s personal and political allies. It is feared much of the funds will contribute to the continued repression of free-speech, state sponsored violence and intimidation of political opponents of Mugabe’s party, Zanu PF.