GUEST COLUMN: Country with ‘widespread human rights abuses’ to become vice-chair of Kimberley Process – by Sam Lewis (Professional Jeweller – November 23, 2021)

The country of Zimbabwe is set to become the vice-chair of the Kimberley Process in 2023, according recent reports. Zimbabwean publication NewsDay stated that a vote was held in Moscow earlier in November. Russia is the current chair.

But, asks Ryan Atkins, CEO of Nightingale, is Zimbabwe the right country to head up the Kimberley Process? It’s common knowledge for those in the diamond industry that the Kimberley Process scheme is in somewhat of an existential crisis at the moment.

Critics see the system as slow to effect change and generally ineffective at policing the global diamond trade as it was intended to do. For many, the turning point came when the Kimberley Process decided to approve the sale of diamonds from the Marange fields of Zimbabwe, a diamond mining area infamous for its human rights violations.

The atrocities committed by the government-run diamond mines in this area continue to this day, with the most recent reports detailing a culture of corruption, violence and torture.

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