U.S. House of Representatives OKs Conflict Diamonds Bill

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(Rapaport… April 10, 2003) The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Clean Diamonds Trade Act to prohibit the import of conflict diamonds into the U.S., on April 9, 2003. It is hoped that the U.S. Senate, which passed a similar measure on April 2, 2003, will soon approve the legislation.

The Trade Act culminates a three-year effort by the Campaign to Eliminate Conflict Diamonds, a coalition of more than 150 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based organizations and a bipartisan alliance of Members of Congress. It will enforce the Kimberley Process Certification System, which will ensure that diamonds entering the U.S. are legally mined and traded.

The act’s provisions include: The U.S. government will oversee and monitor the diamond industry’s certification process. Key administration agencies in the government will ensure full coordination and compliance with the Kimberley Process. There will be comprehensive monitoring and reporting on problems with the Kimberley Process and information on nonparticipating countries still attempting to export diamonds to the U.S. Countries attempting to circumvent the certification process through the polishing of rough diamonds will also be monitored.

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