Skip to main content

Human Rights in the Diamond Supply Chain

Beyond the Kimberley Process Definition of Conflict

Human rights violations are occurring now in diamond mining communities producing Kimberley Process certified diamonds. This makes it impossible to distinguish diamonds tainted with human rights abuses from responsibly sourced diamonds, unless they are recycled or certified as sourced from very specific mines.

If you work in diamonds, you have a responsibility to ensure that every diamond you trade has been produced and sold responsibly.

In cooperation with Human Rights Watch, The International Peace Information Service (IPIS) and the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition, the Responsible Jewelry Transformative shines a light on these human rights violations.


  • Wednesday, October 7:

  • Thursday, October 8:

"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them."

Ida B Wells

Wednesday, October 7

In two pre-recorded interviews, members of the communities near the Letseng Diamond Mine in Lesotho and the communities surrounding the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company in Marange share their current realities of human suffering caused by those mining operations.

Interview 1

  • Juliane Kippenberg:

    Associate Director of the Children's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch

  • Thabo Lerotholi:

    Maluti Community Development Forum. Lesotho representative to the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition.

  • Tebello:

    Member of Maloraneng Community Village in the district of Mokhotlong.

Interview 2

  • Dewa Mavhinga:

    South African Director at Human Rights Watch

  • Shamiso Mtisi:

    Deputy Director at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association. Zimbabwe-based Coordinator of the CSO Coalition

  • Ms. M:

    Community Monitor for Zimbabwe Allied and Diamond Workers Union

  • Ms. M:

    This community member must remain anonymous for personal safety.

It takes courage to hear stories of pain, abuse, fear, and retaliation. It takes even greater courage to live those stories, and then tell them. 

Day One of this symposium gives voice to those whose lives we have affected by accepting the Kimberley Process as enough. 

The people speaking out in today's interviews have requests and ideas to share with the jewelry industry. It is our responsibility to listen, and to pursue change on their behalf.

"We have become prisoners in our own land. It is unfortunate and frustrating that diamonds brought us this misery that dogs, guns, and batten sticks are used to control ordinary villagers like us."

Ms. M

Thursday, October 8

Day Two will feature experts addressing the reasons that human rights problems continue to exist in the diamond supply chain, how we can have more transparency in our communication regarding problems in diamond mining communities, and the responsibility for the jewelry industry to work together to improve the diamond sector.

The panelists will discuss the changes they recommend to improve human rights in the diamond industry.


  • Shamiso Mtisi:

    Deputy Director at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association. Zimbabwe-based Coordinator of the CSO Coalition.

  • Hans Merket:

    IPIS (International Peace Information Service) Researcher

  • Juliane Kippenberg:

    Associate Director of the Children's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch

  • Susan Wheeler:

    CEO and Founder of the Responsible Jewelry Transformative



Dewa Mavhinga

Hans Merket

Juliane Kippenberg

Shamiso Mtisi

Susan Wheeler


Thabo Lerotholi

Some of our speakers have chosen to remain anonymous for the safety of themselves and their families.

Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition

The umbrella organization that acts as an observer of the Kimberley Process on behalf of civil society. Its industry counterpart in the KP is the World Diamond Council, which has equal observer status. Most coalition members come from Africa, the world's main diamond producing continent. The Coalition brings the grassroots perspective and experience to the Kimberley Process.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. Roughly 450 country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others representing over 70 nationalities work together to protect those most at risk; vulnerable minorities, civilians in war zones, refugees, and children in need. They advocate for change with governments, armed groups, businesses, and industries, pushing them to change or enforce laws, policies, and practices that protect human well-being.

IPIS - International Peace Information Service

The International Peace Information Service is an independent research institute providing tailored information, analysis, and capacity enhancement to support individuals and organizations who want to realize a vision of durable peace, sustainable development, and the fulfillment of human rights.