Blood Diamonds Essay

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BLOOD DIAMONDS Contents 1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2 2.0 What are Blood Diamonds? 3 3.0 The History of the Blood Diamond Region 3 3.1 Angola 3 3.2 Liberia and Sierra Leone 4 3.3 Côte d'Ivoire 4 3.4 Democratic Republic of the Congo 5 3.5 The Republic of Congo 5 3.6 Zimbabwe 5 4.0 Labor & Community 5 4.1 Poverty 6 4.2 Safety and Health 6 4.3 Child & Forced Labor 6 4.4 Economic Development 7 5.0 What's being done to stop conflict diamonds? 7 6.0 CONCLUSION 8 1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The controversy surrounding blood diamonds (conflict diamonds) was brought to light in the 1990s with civil wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, the Republic of Congo, and Liberia. During this time, blood diamonds comprised about 4 percent of the world diamond market, according to the World Diamond Council’s Diamond Facts website. Some diamonds have helped fund devastating civil wars in Africa, destroying the lives of 3.7 million people. Conflict diamonds are those sold in order to fund armed conflict and civil war. Profits from the trade in conflict diamonds, worth billions of dollars, were used by warlords and rebels to buy arms during the devastating wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sierra Leone. While the wars in Angola and Sierra Leone are now over and fighting in the DRC has decreased, the problem of conflict diamonds hasn't gone away. Diamonds mined in rebel-held areas in Côte d'Ivoire, a West African country in the midst of a volatile conflict, are reaching the international diamond market. Conflict diamonds from Liberia are also being smuggled into neighboring countries and exported as part of the legitimate diamond trade. Because children are considered an easy source of cheap labor, they are regularly employed in the diamond mining industry. In some areas of Africa, children make up more than a small part of the

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