Blood Diamonds in Africa

By: Jade Baker

What is the meaning of blood diamonds?

Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, were mined by Africans to fund money for wars. This topic was very illegal, but has funded millions of dollars. Blood meaning war and diamonds meaning money.

Location:

The most popular locations for blood mining are the Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here's a fact:

More than 4 million people had died during the different conflicts of mining blood diamonds.
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Blood diamond mines:

Why was blood diamond mining so dangerous?

Many people died during the mining process because it was very dangerous and very illegal. The group of miners moved from village to village as many people fled their homes in fear of getting hurt by the Africans. All together, a lot of damage was caused to many people. Roughly 20,000 innocent people suffered severe injury, nearly 75,000 were killed, and around 2 million fled off. A total of roughly 4 million had died and suffered from serious injury.

Punishment for stealing?

Many people that worked in or around the blood diamond mining area were accused of stealing mined diamonds. Their punishment for stealing was very harsh, as their arms were cut off. The reason for cutting their arms off was so they could still work the mines, but they were not able to steal anymore or keep the diamonds they stole.

Major poverty.

Poverty was huge during blood diamond mining. These miners worked so hard but hardly got any pay; At most, miners were payed with $1 a day. I find this very interesting because all of their hard work is basically doing them nothing. In my opinion, I wouldn't want to only be payed $1.

Child Labor

Many children were included in blood diamond mining with the adults because they were considered an easy, cheap source of labor. Research has shown that more than 46% of miners were between the ages of 5 and 16. It was even more dangerous for the kids working in the mines vs. the adults because the kids were more able to get injured easier. These kids also have no education so when the start working the mines, they spend their lifetimes in there.

Here's another fact:

More than 15% of the worlds diamonds are panned and mined through these mines.
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How do we know our jewelry today is not made of blood diamonds?

The Kimberly process ensures us that our jewelry is not made of blood diamonds. Basically the Kimberly process is the process of certifying diamonds to ensure they are produced, sold, and exported through legitimate channels. Blood diamonds are highly illegal, therefore they are not allowed to be sold through jewelers and stores.

Eliminating conflict diamonds.

Today, around 74 governments have used the Kimberly Process Certification System, and now more than 99% of the worlds diamonds are from conflict free systems. The diamond industry continues to work with governments to strengthen the Kimberly Process, because one diamond is one to many.

Citations:

"Blood Diamonds - Conflict Diamonds What Is the Kimberly Process?" Blood Diamonds. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.


"Brilliant Earth." Brilliant Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.


"Diamondfacts.org." - Conflict Diamonds. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.


"How the African Diamond Trade Works." HowStuffWorks. N.p., 21 Apr. 2008. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.