Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the Sierra Leonean trade in “conflict diamonds” which has fuelled a rebel war in the country for more than a decade. In particular, it crucially asks whether the reform of the diamond trade by international legislative efforts to develop an international diamond certification scheme can stem the flow of “conflict diamonds.” Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon existing work and research to provide a detailed case study of international legislative attempts to curtail the trade in illicit diamonds from Sierra Leone, specifically by implementing a Certification of Origin Scheme. Findings – Based on existing research, the paper argues that the Certification of Origin Scheme has made a positive contribution to the illegal mining, trading and smuggling of conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone. However, peace and recovery will also depend on how extensive official and unofficial corruption is tackled. Research limitations/implications – International efforts to limit the flow of “conflict” diamonds, the dynamics of the conflict itself and relevant research are all in a state of continuous development. It is therefore significant to view this paper within this ever changing framework. Originality/value – This paper will be of value to those wishing to be introduced to the nature of the illicit diamond trade and recent efforts on behalf of the international community to solve the problem.
Journal of Financial Crime – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2006
Keywords: Conflict; War; Corruption; Sierra Leone
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