Global Witness is an advocacy campaign that I have mentioned previously in my blog. They were one of the first organizations to bring the world’s attention to the problem of conflict diamonds. They released a report “A Rough Trade” in 1998 exposing the role of diamonds in funding the civil war in Angola. This publicized the secret trade practices of the diamond industry in many African regions.
Thanks to Global Witness, international pressure helped force governments take action to eliminate conflict diamonds from international trade. It introduced the Kimberly process in 2003 which certifies that diamonds are not fueling conflict. Global Witness is using their expertise in the blood diamonds campagn to fight to make sure cell phones are also free from the taint of conflict human rights abuses.
Despite some difficult attempts at industry self-regulation, Global Witness is working hard for both campaigns. They were nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for their work combating conflict diamonds. They were recognized for all their hard work almost a decade ago, and shows perseverence in their campaign against conflict minerals now.
Here is more information regarding the Kimberly Process. Hopefully we can use the same campaign strategies to establish a similar process to ensure conflict free cell phones.