Teaching Students About Blood Diamond Gems
Teaching students about the issue of blood diamond gems is essential in raising awareness about the ethical and social responsibility in the jewelry industry. Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are gems that are mined in war-torn areas and are sold to finance armed conflicts against governments. The conflict diamonds are often sold through unregulated channels and are smuggled into mainstream diamond markets, leading to the exploitation of the local community.
As a teacher, it is vital to create a learning environment that encourages critical thinking and engages students on the subject matter. Here are some tips on how to teach students about blood diamond gems:
1. Define what blood diamond gems are and the impact they have on the communities that mine them. Using case studies of countries that have been affected by this issue, such as Sierra Leone, Angola, and Democratic Republic of Congo, will help to contextualize the issue.
2. Discuss how blood diamond gems enter the supply chain. Explain the steps in the diamond supply chain–including mining, transporting, cutting, and marketing–and how certain diamonds may not have documented origins, making them potentially blood diamonds.
3. Examine the roles of various stakeholders in the diamond industry, including governments, mining companies, retailers, and international organizations. Ask students to think critically about how each group can contribute to solving the problem of blood diamond gems and what ethical responsibilities they have.
4. Explore the diamond certification system, including the Kimberley Process, which aims to certify that a diamond is “conflict-free.” However, there are limitations to the Kimberley Process, as it only focuses on the exporting and importing of diamonds, and not the conditions under which they were mined.
5. Encourage students to engage in ethical consumerism by researching and supporting companies that follow ethical and sustainable practices. This can include jewelry brands that have certifications such as the Responsible Jewellery Council or that use recycled metals and gems.