“The DDII offers an intelligent approach to the long-standing problems of artisanal diamond mining. Regulation has its place, but development problems require development solutions.”
Ministry of Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone
To gather all interested parties into a process that will address, in a comprehensive way, the political, social and economic challenges facing the artisanal diamond mining sector in order to optimize the beneficial development impact of artisanal diamond mining to miners and their communities within the countries in which the diamonds are mined.
To gather and disseminate information on artisanal diamond mining.
To promote better understanding of, and possible solutions for:
To promote wide participation in the process, including governments, donors, industry and development organizations.
Research by Partnership Africa Canada and Global Witness in 2004 showed the desperate nature of alluvial diamond digging. It is a hard, dangerous casino economy in which diggers remain poor, while buyers, exporters, processors and retailers make healthy profits.
The PAC/GW report, Rich Man, Poor Man, called on governments, NGOs and the private sector to come together to find ways in which some of the poorest people in Africa – people who generate great wealth for others – could obtain a fairer share. This is a human security issue; it is about development at its most basic; and it is about justice. Smuggling continues and diggers, many of them still children, face appalling working conditions. Residents of mining areas complain of environmental degradation, water pollution, and the influx of migrant labour, with high rates of prostitution and HIV/AIDS. Family and societal violence follow. Most alluvial diamond diggers lead hard, insecure, dangerous and unhealthy lives. With average earnings of less than a dollar a day they fall squarely into the broad category of “absolute poverty”. Until these problems are solved, diamonds will continue to be a source of insecurity; conversely, change could produce significantly better lives for tens of thousands of diggers and their communities.
Heads of state meeting at the 2007 G8 Summit said that they ‘encourage support for the … multistakeholder Diamond Development Initiative International (DDII), which emerged from the Kimberley Process to strengthen the developmental impacts associated with artisanal diamond mining in Africa’
- Growth and Responsibility in the World Economy, G8 Summit Declaration, June 2007