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Canada (510,314)
POLSCI 2I03 (101)
Andrew Lui (26)
Lecture 16

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Political Science
Andrew Lui

Two emerging norms: using blood diamonds (Kimberly process) and the responsibility to protect. What the Kimberly process can teach us about other commodities and the violations of human rights. Diamonds: it is often something that is granted to individuals to many societies to signify passages milestones in one’s life. In 1990’s people started to pay attention to if diamonds are responsible in part of whole for human rights violations, corruption, and state of disparity in many war-torn countries. When NGOs looked at how diamonds are found and made in many countries, something as valuable as diamond perpetuates that particular war and the disparities of individuals, and the power authorities, how it is distributed in those societies. Human beings in countries like Seri Leo are commodified, and used like slaves to dig up diamonds, and how they are used by rebel groups and how sometimes they violate them. This is what many people in the West do not know, the origin of it. the Kimberly process like the land mines convention, a group of NGOs have been working on it, have found in parts of South Africa, other countries like Canada have been supportive of Kimberly process. The process says in these war-affected countries the origin of diamonds are quiet shady and may be involved in human trafficking, violations, etc. in order to curve these catastrophic trends that world trade do regulate certain commodities, so why not regulate diamonds so we can trace its origin. The process stops the trade from rough diamonds, and the world’s largest diamond company need to start paying attention to where their diamonds come from whether their rough diamonds are from troubled zones; if they came from war-torn places, result of slavery, labour violations etc. . The process says that states as international actors are responsible for ensuring that flow and in flow of diamonds within that country is their responsibility. It puts the onus on states to ensure that they deal with companies that can guarantee a certain degree of validity that the diamonds they produced are from countries that do not participate in such heinous crimes. States that do produce the rough diamonds are also responsible for ensuring that they can account where the diamond came for, they deal with reputable countries that have checked the regulation of diamonds, and meet the international requirements, they do not support rebel groups, do not have slave labour. This diamond was produced in a right way to ensure all the checks and balances that there are and the countries that have diamonds coming in are also responsible in some measure to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Kimberly process. Part of it is a success; they show the percentages of the rough diamonds produced in the world. Before 20% of the world diamonds came from blood diamonds, so they say they have controlled the flow of diamonds and the governments are responsible to ensure that diamonds are sourced properly. That has also created according to the advocates of Kimberly process gains for the country producing the diamonds. They gain taxes from the countries who want their diamonds because it meets the checks and balances. These are the benefits. How we can better enforce some of these ideals. We need checks and balances to ensure the states will follow the guidelines in the Kimberly process. Downside: the lessons of Kimberly process and can be replicated in other commodities. It targets states, puts the onus on the states. But what happens if you are dealing with a state which in and of itself is unsavoury of itself. what if the regime is highly corrupt and often times may put rubber stamps that say the diamonds were produced justly but what if there was a black market in the country and have rebel groups there that get diamonds from blood diamonds and trade it with the countries that are ‘okay’ under the Kimberly process. Man-made diamonds are too prefect than nature. But it is difficult to trace natural diamonds since they all look the same. So it overlooks that certain states may be unsavoury to being with and the role/power of the non-state actors. It also puts a lot of onus on the buyers. Canada believes in Kimberly process and has signed on to it. it puts a lot of emphasis on the faith that the process works, but the same mentality has not worked so well with other commodities. The success of the Kimberly process got other NGOs and states thinking about how they can apply it to other commodities like drugs. Putting the onus on states which produce drugs is problematic. Example, Afghanistan while the production of opium poppies was done under Taliban, there has been de facto reasons that the production of poppies was done in fear of going against Taliban. Second example is Columbia, the world’s largest cocaine supplier. Columbia only controls 30-70% of the country while the rest is controlled by rebel groups. So putting the onus on state is problematic because they cannot account for it. Another problem is supply and demand, if there is demand of oil, drugs, and diamonds people will need to consume it or find a way to consume. It is not targeting the demand for drugs and diamonds; oil, industries and states cannot trace where the oil comes from. States will deal with unsavoury countries like Libya and Nigeria because economically we need oil. Other instances which the Kimberly process has not been able to be replicated. ‘Conflict minerals’ so other essential minerals important for the production of electronic goods. Nearly all elect
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