NGO: Industry Flunked Pop Quiz

There is widespread ignorance of the Kimberley Process and the conflict diamond issue among salespeople and the industry, the nongovernmental organization Global Witness says in a report that was scheduled to be released at the March World Diamond Council meeting in Dubai.

Global Witness campaigner Corinna Gilfillan says her group asked salespeople at major chains what precautions they were taking to ensure that their diamonds were not tainted by conflict.

“We found the vast majority of salespeople didn’t have a clue,” she says. “There was widespread ignorance.”

She also said that her group wrote follow-up letters to major jewelry chains to ask about their policies on conflict diamonds. Out of 30 letters sent, her group received only five responses.

“That’s pretty pathetic,” she says. “And one of the things the industry pledged to do in the self-regulation process was to educate everyone.”