Diamonds and Human Rights

By FredrickHobbs

Diamonds are among the most precious and sought after jewels known to man. Their rarity and value are only matched by the multitude of uses in fields like metallurgy, telecommunications and jewelry.

The paradox of developing countries is that most of them are economically underdeveloped and poor but possess extensive natural resources. Fruits of this mineral wealth is needed and sought after many industrialized economies.

In the status quo, the notion is that the best kinds of jewelry are those that have diamonds as part of them. The diamond trade is among the most profitable and controversial industries in existence. The limited number sources and supply add to the reason why diamonds are valued more than other precious stones known to man. These magnificent solidified droplets of pure water are also linked to some of the most horrendous violations of human dignity.

The procurement and transaction of diamonds always involve some form of human rights violations. Countries that have extensive diamond supplies are also some of the most under developed and impoverished states today. In these nations the process of mining diamonds often is an unregulated enterprise. This allows at the least, poor working conditions, and at the worse slave labor. In war-torn countries, both government forces and insurgents would mine diamonds using civilians at gunpoint. There are also cases wherein child labor is used.

Aside from the extraction process of diamonds the means by which they are sold also involves human rights violations. The weapons of war insurgents use to brutalize the local communities are paid for with diamonds. This means that diamonds make the oppression of peoples in countries like those in Africa common and pervasive. Mercenaries fighting for oppressive regimes are paid in diamonds to terrorize anyone who speaks against government.

Economic development is pegged on taking advantaged of resources available. Diamonds satisfy this agenda. These countries with diamonds can benefit from the same given the sums of money that can be had from their sale. Greedy corporations who want to gain a greater access to diamond supplies often turn a blind eye to governments of nations that systematically hurt their people and make them suffer inhumane conditions.

All these prove that despite the beauty of diamonds and the elegance they possess goes hand in hand with the human right abuses that are prolific in countries they are found and in the trade that is built upon them.