Dear Friend,

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that's 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent reporting. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take government or corporate funding, because nothing is more important to us than our editorial independence. But that means we rely on you, our audience, for support. If everyone who tunes into Democracy Now! signed up for a monthly donation of just $10, we could cover our operating costs for the entire year. Please do your part today. Right now, a generous donor will even DOUBLE your first monthly gift, which means it’ll go twice as far! This is a challenging time for us all, but if you're able to start a new monthly donation, please don’t delay. We’re counting on your support. Thank you and remember, wearing a mask is an act of love.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Global Witness Founder Charmian Gooch: “The Diamond Industry Is Failing to Live Up to Its Promises”

StoryFebruary 14, 2007
Watch Full Show
Media Options

For more on the diamond industry, we’re joined by Global Witness founder and director Charmian Gooch. Gooch says diamond companies have failed to deliver on promises to reduce the prevalence of blood diamonds. [includes rush transcript]

We invited a representative of the World Diamond Council to join us, as well, but they never responded to our invitation.

Related Story

StoryFeb 14, 2008Activists Call for Boycott of Diamond Giant Leviev for Support of Israeli Settlements, Angola Abuses
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Right now, we’re going to turn to Charmian Gooch in London, who is with Global Witness. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Charmian. And in this last two minutes, can you update us? The documentary we ran was from 2000 about conflict diamonds, about the civil war in Sierra Leone. What is happening today?

CHARMIAN GOOCH: Well, hello, and it’s very nice to get the chance to talk about some of these issues, so thanks for inviting me on. Well, I mean, the issue — the problem really is, is that although worldwide, particularly in Africa, conflicts have decreased, which is obviously a very, very good thing, there are still conflict diamonds out there, as noted by the United Nations, coming out of the Ivory Coast. And diamonds, you know, in the last —- we’re talking very recently, we’re talking the late ’90s, mid—’90s, late ’90s, and, you know, the early stage of this — early — 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, large quantities of conflict diamonds, these blood diamonds, were getting into the trade. The diamond industry, as a whole, was doing nothing. It had to be the civil society, the campaigning organizations that protested, and there was a global campaign about this.

That led to governments around the world putting together a broad-brush process called the Kimberley Process, which is broad-brush import and export. And the industry has all promised that it would put something meaningful in place in parallel. And it has failed to do so completely.

And this is our big concern. You know, Global Witness has been working on this, we launched the whole issue and the whole campaign and directed the world’s attention back in 1998. And since then, we have been working with other groups around the world to try and really push for changes to this. And that’s why Global Witness and Amnesty have been raising concerns around Valentine’s Day, which is traditionally one of the biggest sales points in the year for diamonds and diamond jewelry, just to say to consumers, you know, “You have some power here. You can take action.” There’s a set of four really simple questions that you can ask, and you can do something about this, because the industry on its own is absolutely failing, as a whole, to live up to its promises.

AMY GOODMAN: What are the four simple questions?

CHARMIAN GOOCH: Four simple questions. When you go into a jewelry store, if you really want to buy a diamond, the four questions are: Do you know where your diamonds come from? Can I see a copy of your company’s policy on conflict diamonds? Can you show me a written guarantee from your diamond suppliers that states your diamonds are conflict-free? And, fourthly, how can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?

Now, that’s a lot — I know, that’s quite a lot there. If anyone wants to, they can have a look at the website or the Amnesty International website. There’s a leaflet there they can print out that’s got all that information in it.

AMY GOODMAN: And we will link to that. Charmian Gooch, I want to thank you for being with us, co-founder and director of Global Witness, on the line with us from London. Happy Valentine’s Day.

CHARMIAN GOOCH: Thank you. Bye-bye.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Up Next

Activists Call for Boycott of Diamond Giant Leviev for Support of Israeli Settlements, Angola Abuses

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation