What is the Kimberley Process?


What is the Kimberley Process is an international initiative launched in 2003 to curb the trade in “conflict diamonds.” Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, are rough diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance rebel groups or insurgents fighting against legitimate governments. These diamonds fuel violence, human rights abuses, and instability in diamond-producing regions.

What is the Kimberley Process

The KP is a unique collaboration between governments, civil society organizations, and the diamond industry. It established the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) lab grown diamonds, a set of rules and procedures designed to ensure that rough diamonds entering the international market are conflict-free.

Here’s how the Kimberley Process works:

  • Participant countries: Over 85 countries, representing almost all of the global rough diamond trade, participate in the KP. Each member implements national legislation and establishes internal controls to monitor the diamond trade within their borders.
  • Certification scheme: Every shipment of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process Certificate (KPC). This certificate guarantees that the diamonds originated from a source complying with the KP’s minimum requirements and are conflict-free.
  • Chain of custody: The KPC tracks rough diamonds throughout the supply chain, from mine to market. This chain of custody helps ensure that conflict diamonds don’t enter the legitimate trade.

What is the Kimberley Process has significantly reduced the trade in conflict diamonds, but challenges remain. Critics point out that the KP is not a foolproof system and that some conflict diamonds may still slip through the cracks. Additionally, the KP has faced criticism for its reliance on self-regulation by participant countries.

Despite these challenges, the Kimberley Process is a significant step forward in promoting ethical sourcing in the diamond industry. It has helped to ensure that diamonds represent love and commitment, not violence and conflict.