Following is an excerpt from the statement that caught my attention,
Tom Zoellner, who researched the industry for his book "The Heartless Stone" (St. Martin's Press, 2006), said the Kimberley Process doesn't concern itself with objectionable practices like the use of child labor in India, where most diamonds are polished. But he said because many Africans depend on them for their livelihood, a boycott is not the answer. The best defense against dirty diamonds, he said, is to ask questions.
Are these two moral dilemmas comparable ?
Should potential buyers of diamonds boycott them because these gems passed through sweatshops employing children in India? Well, there are umpteen number of goods that have the toils of third world women and children written all over them. Shouldn't the developed world be asking questions about the carpets in their living floors?
Very few firms in the western world have monitoring practices to oversee their suppliers in the developing world. Such costs just add up to the transaction costs and increaser the clearing price between the parties involved in the transaction and therefore often such situations result in a tacit "don't ask don't tell" understanding. An unwritten norm of governance between the two parties. Although sad, such a system does ensure that some of the world's poorest of the poor do get some form of economic livelihood. At least for products that are smeared with the "sweat" and not the "blood" of children should be bought more pro-actively.
Abolishing child labor is not a necessary and sufficient condition for improving the welfare of these children. Education too is just a necessary condition, but not sufficient. But, what education does provide is a self-belief in their own potential, a big picture view, and the confidence to aspire for a better life. Is there a one necessary and sufficient condition ?