The Republic of Cameroon is a participant of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process is meant to increase transparency and oversight in the diamond industry, as well as eliminate conflict diamonds. RELUFA, the Joining Hands network in Cameroon, is a member of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC). The KPCSC observes the process on behalf of civil society and according to their website:
“Most coalition members come from Africa, the world’s main diamond producing continent. Representing communities affected by diamond mining and trade, they strive to improve diamond sector governance in their home countries. Their local and regional expertise enables them to follow up on KP implementation on the ground and articulate a grassroots perspective on the diamond sector at the KP forum. The coalition includes representatives from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.”
RELUFA, as a KPCSC member, just recently published a report called “State of play and mapping of diamond mining sites in Eastern Cameroon” which is part of larger pan-Africa research project called “Grassroots research on local diamond mining impact.” RELUFA found that the diamond mining sites in Cameroon are very remote and there is very little monitoring happening. RELUFA estimates that 85% of mining sites are unauthorized sites and at least 50% of producers don’t keep records of their production at all. RELUFA also determined that artisanal miners are selling their diamonds across the border in the Central African Republic due to a lack of local buying offices. Further, they discovered the presence of children at mining sites and some harmful environmental practices. RELUFA made a number of recommendations to the government to improve the industry and made suggestions for future study by civil society.
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