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De Beers Diamond Trading Company’s Best Practice Principles Sep.2000

In a booklet prepared for De Beers sightholders, under the heading "Business Practices," De Beers states the following: "We are committed to operating our businesses in such a way that we neither engage in, nor encourage in any manner, the following practices which are regarded as unacceptable and against the public interest and that of the diamond industry:

- buying and trading rough diamonds from areas where this would encourage or support conflict and human suffering

- the use of child labor

- practices which intentionally or recklessly endanger or harm the health or welfare of individuals."

The facts are that the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturer Association have adopted similar resolutions. There is no doubt in our minds that the entire industry, sightholders or not, are committed to these practices as well as other ethical principles such as full disclosure of treatments and honoring all commitments, oral or written. De Beers does not deserve a medal for being ethical, however, the company is not profiteering, as the New York Times suggested, from areas of civil unrest. The hope of everyone is that peace will prevail in war-torn African nations.v


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