Recently I watched
the based on a true story movie Blood Diamond. This movie showed in graphic details of what a vast majority of Africans live
through on a daily basis. The images of little kids being used as soldiers spurred me into doing my research project on the
topic of child soldiers. I initially started my research believing that the use of child soldiers was a fluke isolated to
the African continent, but as I researched I found that kids are participating in more than thirty armed conflicts across
the globe. These conflicts are happening in places like Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. Many of these
conflicts tend to be a result of rebels fighting the government. The most common cause for the conflict is for control of
the countries natural resources.
I found this to be
especially true of African conflicts where diamond mines are located. This was another sad fact of African life. Many poor
Africans are enslaved by both rebels and in some instances governments to work in the diamond mines. The need for labor to
both guard and work the mines lead to constant raids by rebels. It is a never ending cycle, the diamonds pay for the weapons
which let the rebels take and control the diamond fields. These illegal diamonds are called either conflict or blood diamonds.
The definition of a blood diamond is a stone that is mined in a war zone and is then sold on the black market in order to
In 2003 the Kimberley
Process Certification Scheme, was ratified by 53 countries. This process was supposed to stop the buying and selling of conflict
diamonds. One method that was implemented was that rough diamonds can now only cross the border with an official certificate.
On this certificate is stated where the diamonds come from and it has to be provided by a legitimate government. The countries
importing the diamonds must check the sealing and the certificates of the packages. The Kimberely process has met with limited
success, mainly due to the lack of strict enforcement by African officials. Many of these officials are easily bribed to certify
that conflict diamonds are in fact clean. Lack of strict control and regulation
still allows conflict diamonds to enter the market.