Presentation on theme: "From Military Engagements to Engagement Rings Tracing the Path of Blood Diamonds."— Presentation transcript:
From Military Engagements to Engagement Rings Tracing the Path of Blood Diamonds
2 Africa and Its Natural Resources As a continent, Africa certainly received its fair share of the world's resources. Africa covers 20% of the world's landmass but is estimated to have 90% of global reserves of platinum and 65% of diamonds.
3 The “Natural Resource Curse” Many countries whose economies depend primarily on natural resources such as oil, diamonds, or timber, generally suffer from greater poverty, score lower on the UN Human Development Index (an annual report that measuring the general quality of life for citizens) and are more at risk for conflict than countries whose economies are more diversified. This paradox of wealth in natural resources combined with crushing poverty is known as the “Natural Resource Curse.”
4 Discuss with a Partner... What do Diamonds represent, or symbolize, in our society?
Where Are Diamonds Found? Rough diamonds can either be found below the earth’s surface through industrial mining, or in river beds and streams through alluvial mining. Most of the diamond deposits currently mined in places such as Sierra Leone and Angola require only a shovel, a pan, and hard labor to mine.
“A Diamond is Forever” Diamond engagement rings were not common until 1947, when De Beers launched its famous “A Diamond Is Forever” marketing campaign in the United States. Goals of the campaign were: Convince people that diamonds are rare. Diamonds are so meaningful they can never be parted with. It is expected to spend at least one month’s salary to buy an engagement ring. Diamonds are the only way to express true love.
“A Diamond is Forever” Around the same time, De Beers began encouraging jewelers to loan diamonds to Hollywood stars for prestigious events, solidifying the diamond’s association with wealth, power, prestige, and celebrity.
Diamonds are for Everyone Current ad campaigns in the United States are reaching out to new target audiences, including hip hop artists. Retailers are also targeting women, hoping that they will begin to buy diamonds for themselves.
Easily Exploitable Resource In areas such as Sierra Leone where river mining allows easy access to diamonds, rebels will take control of diamond mining areas in hopes of making a quick and substantial profit. Rebel groups such as the RUF (the Revolutionary United Front), force civilians to mine for diamonds.
What are “Blood Diamonds?” Diamonds mined in a war zone and are sold illegally to finance the war efforts of rebel groups, resulting in prolonged conflict and increased human rights abuses. In the past decade, over 6 million people from Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have become refugees after being forced from their homes by diamond fueled conflict. Millions more have died in diamond related conflicts over the past decade.
Blood Diamonds Increase Human Rights Abuses Rebel cruelty in many conflict areas is well documented, and includes the abduction and training of child soldiers, amputation, abduction of males as diamond mine workers, and the use of rape as a tool of war. Diamond profits allow for prolonged conflict and increased human rights abuses in conflict areas,
Conflict Free Diamonds? Because diamonds are small and easy to transport, it is difficult to track all diamonds leaving a given country. Diamonds from conflict regions are often mixed with legitimate diamonds and certified as conflict free. Smuggling and mixing diamonds from different origins makes it almost impossible to know if the diamond indeed came from a conflict area or not.