Essay on Blood Diamonds

Submitted By RyanMunguia23
Words: 1278
Pages: 6

How the Diamond Trade Influences Conflicts and the Treatment of Workers
Diamonds are said to be a girl’s best friend and one of the best gift ideas for anniversaries or special occasions. What many don’t realize is that some of these diamonds come from countries that use the profits to fund ongoing conflicts. These diamonds are best known as conflict diamonds and , “…often {are} referred to as a blood diamond, is a diamond that has been sourced, mined and sold to help fund devastating civil wars in Africa, destroying the lives of millions (MacLean).” When people buy diamonds, they should learn how to avoid blood diamonds from South Africa because they originate from mines that are run by corrupt governments or rebel factions and the profits gained are used to fuel ongoing conflicts, and because it perpetuates the unethical treatment or children.
Conflicts diamonds are used to gain monetary funds in order to fuel rebel and civil war campaigns in South African countries such as Sierra Leone. In a Sierra Leone a group known as the Revolutionary United Front are responsible for threatening, killing, and mutilating people living and working in diamond villages in an attempt to gain control of all the mines in a given area. They would then move from one village to another effectively terrorizing the entirety of Sierra Leone forcing many to leave their homes in fear. The number of people affected just in Sierra Leone from this one group is in the millions at this point, “…roughly 20,000 innocent people suffered bodily mutilation, 75,000 were killed and 2 million fled Sierra Leone altogether” (Hoyt).
Governments are also responsible for engaging in less than savory practices that affect those working in the diamond fields. Zimbabwe is a good example of how a government can its power to negatively affect diamond workers. “Zimbabwe's armed forces are engaging in the forced labor of children and adults, and are torturing and beating local villagers on the diamond fields of Marange [a] district in eastern Zimbabwe, (Zimbabwe)” which was conducted under the order of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). This party was the former ruling party over Zimbabwe and managed to retain control of the military. The actions taken by this government or former ruling parties are similar to the horrors that some governments had to engage in during World War II. A big difference is that in this case the actions taken by governments of both Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone are unnecessary and serve no other purpose then to create a cheap source of manual labor and keep power through military might. During World War II some countries had to engage in questionable activities to end the war thus the means were justified if the sought after ends were met. The actions taken by the ZANU-PF are morally abhorrent and that the outcome of controlling the diamonds fields in Marange do not outweigh the atrocities done to people living near the field. The previous statement agrees with the moral philosophy that the outcome can never outweigh the means by which the outcome was achieved (Anscombe).
There are conflicts that not just affect South African countries but also the world because some of the funds are given to terrorist groups such as Al- Qaeda. These terrorist groups help keep control of the certain diamond mines in South Africa and use the proceeds to fund their activities around the world. It is a quick and easy source of income as long as the mine stays under their control and not that of the government of any other factions that may be present. Al- Qaeda has also used these funds to train to terrorist cells in those South African countries that have been ravaged by civil war and unrest due to the governments lack of sufficient manpower to deal with both diamond smugglers and possible terrorist activities,
Another important aspect of diamond mining is the physical abuse children must suffer when they are forced to work. They work