The global agreement to prevent trade in “blood diamonds” from Africa has failed to assure consumers their gems are not tainted by human rights abuses and conflict, according to one of its founding members.
IMPACT, a Canadian non-government organisation, has left the Kimberley Process because it says it has given buyers “false confidence” about where their stones come from and needs to reform.
The departure of IMPACT, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its work on conflict diamonds, leaves only one international NGO left in the Kimberley Process, established in 2003 to prevent diamonds being used to fund rebel groups in Africa.
“There’s no meaningful assurance that a diamond is conflict free,” Joanne Lebert, executive director at IMPACT, said. “The public is under the wrong impression that the problem is solved. I think it’s time to challenge that narrative again.”
London-based advocacy group Global Witness left in 2011 after concerns the agreement had failed to prevent exports of diamonds from Zimbabwe, where the government seized controls of fields and is alleged to have killed 200 miners.
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