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Informal Diamond Production Is Causing Human Sufferings

2007: Informal Diamond Production Is Disturbing the Local Economy of Any Country

April 2007

De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said illegal "informal" miners need to be brought into the formal industry.

"If we are not working proactively together to address problems that both affect our business and create real human suffering, we will -- in the court of public opinion -- be considered complicit and guilty by association," he told the World Jewelry Confederation congress in Cape Town..

"Quite literally, millions of people...are engaged in small-scale digging, often in unacceptable circumstances of poverty, at risk to their lives and subject to human rights abuses … We need to devise ways to embrace these activities into the legitimate, official, formal industry so that the interests of both the individual workers and those of governments are protected," Oppenheimer said.

He asked for support for the Diamond Development Initiative, a grouping of the industry, non-governmental organizations and donors, which is seeking to address the problem.



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