One hears about a phrase called “Blood Diamond.” awfully a lot. But, unless he or she is familiar with the subject, not many people really understand that it, in a nutshell, is nothing but a massive slavery of the Zimbabwean women and children by the greedy corrupted officials. Yesterday, A Human Rights Watch representative exposed the brutality of the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the Zimbabwean citizens by the regime during the conference in Chicago.
How they enslave the citizens
According to the article, the research shows that the military regime under the leadership of the country’s president took over the diamond trade, which costed the lives of 200 innocent citizens in 2008. The militia captured 50 or 60 citizens in the neighborhood into buses and took them to the Diamond fields. Some of them are women and children. The children are forced to work at the diamond mines while women are raped and forced to strip by the soldiers. The soldiers also gunpoint through the nights at the workers and accused them of stealing diamonds though many of them do not know anything about the diamonds. The Human Rights Watch report vividly describes the brutality of the Zimbabwean authorities imposed on the children and women in the diamond fields:
With control established, the army rapidly turned to forming syndicates, often using forced labor, including of children. A miner described to Human Rights Watch how his syndicate was cheated by the soldiers who formed it-when the men decided to abandon work, soldiers shot them, leading to the death of one man and the maiming of another. Children describe being made to carry diamond ore, working up to 11 hours per day with no reward. One local lawyer has estimated that up to 300 children continue to work for soldiers in the diamond fields.
What can an average Joe do?
Human Rights Watch recommends an average Joe to follow the three steps described below:
Write to your Senator or Representative to urge them to “remedy the Kimberley Process’s failings and expose the actions of Mugabe’s allies. At the same time, urge a swift review of, and amendment to, the Clean Diamond Trade Act.” The Kimberley Process is a certification scheme created to regulate the trade of conflict or “blood” diamonds, but Kasambala and others argue that the process has been ineffective because it has failed to suspend diamond trade in Zimbabwe despite documented abuses.
Write to other Kimberley Process “states,” including China, Russia and Switzerland, and tell them that “they need to act to end the smuggling of blood diamonds and stop the human rights abuses at the Marange diamond fields.” See a sample letter here.
Finally, if you are considering purchasing a diamond, ask the retailer about the source of the diamond and request that the seller show proof that the diamond is not from Zimbabwe. If no proof is offered, do not purchase the diamond.
Average Joe is asking what Average Joe is paying for:
Apparently the Zimbabwean government is fearlessly lobbying to gain further foreign aid from the international society. However, the aid is used nothing but to sustain and expand the power of the corrupted Zimbabwean administration. Also, according to the Human Rights Watch, the Zimbabweans are fleeing the country because of the oppression by the corrupted government while the president and other officials are in denial, of course. It is common knowledge that the US is one of the major donor countries for many international organizations including UN and World Bank. And, the U.S. is able to do so because of its taxpaying average joe citizens like yourself. Then, why not asking your governors to stop wasting YOUR money into expanding Zimbabwean corrupted government? By you not doing anything about it, you are neglecting a massive modern day slavery or human trafficking by the Zimbabwean government.