Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Role of media to spread human rights awareness

Recently, an advocacy organization, Global Witness, that helped to establish an international certification program to prevent the sale of blood diamonds withdrew from the Kimberley Process coalition saying the effort was no longer effective. The coalition was created in  2003 because conflicts in Angola and Sierra Leone were being fueled by diamond sales. The group withdrew after a decision last month was made to to allow Zimbabwe to export diamonds where there have been reports of widespread human rights abuses by government security forces.  This article sheds insight on the current issue.

In reading about blood diamonds in the NY Times, I couldn't help but think about the impact that media could play on spreading knowledge and awareness of the issues that exist. I knew nothing about the existence of blood diamonds (must be the sheltered life i live) prior to the thriller film debut. The movie (trailer here) included Leanoardo DiCaprio in his quest and role in the blood diamonds web. The blood diamonds refer to the diamonds mined during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 2002 and sold to finance conflicts by providing warlords and international diamond companies. The Sierra Leone Civil War actually led to the creation of the above discussed Kimberley Process coalition.

It amazes me the impact that media can have on an individuals knowledge and awareness. We blog on this site - but mainly people interested in human rights come to this blog. With movies we have the ability to reach so many individuals who don't even know that they have an interested in human rights advocacy.

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