Sunday, May 31, 2015

Money Over Mankind?

Is it an American theme to desire money over everything?
I would argue that it is especially after reading an article on this past week. Just in the last few days Senate passed legislation to bar the United States from taking part in a trade deal with countries that engage in slavery.
Sounds good right?
Wrong. The White House wants to and even plans on continuing trade with Malaysia despite the fact that they are a hub of human trafficking. Although they take part in this inhumane and despicable treatment, the country's location makes it extremely desirable to trade with. Lying close to the Strait of Malacca, a key shipping route for global trade, Malaysia will continue to trade with the United States while our leaders turn a blind eye.
In an attempt to bring awareness to this issue, a series of photos were just released that expose abandoned human trafficking camps in Malaysia. I think they were released to appeal to the emotions of American's so that people will take action and rally to end the corrupt trade. Below are some of the pictures:
Bones have been commonly found in Malaysia near the sites of human trafficking camps. Authorities have dug through two camps and have found nearly 140 bodies. As you can see directly under the red arrow lie the teeth of a slave, indicating abuse and mistreatment. 
This is a picture of a Malaysian policeman watching over an abandoned human trafficking camp. In the top left corner there is an object that looks like a crate. It is made out of bamboo and barbed wire, it is said to have held migrants captive.

I think that all trade with Malaysia needs to be halted for the time being. Maybe by discontinuing our trade with them they will stop the poor treatment of their population and improve conditions so that they can once again trade with our country. In continuing to trade with them despite the clear images of slavery, Malaysia's actions are perpetuated and the completely wrong message is sent by our government. After years of fighting to end slavery in America, why are we perpetuating it overseas? Is money the motive? I would argue that we continue to have this relationship with Malaysia because our society places a high value on making money. It is human life versus the accumulation of money, and once again money wins.

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough one, Macarooney and cheese. Why? Because those who would *continue* trade with Malaysia might point to US trade with other countries who have a terrible record of human rights. Like China. Or Vietnam. And how the trade might be a way to open up or "liberalize" those regimes. Did you analyze a quote from CNN? I do appreciate the fact that you identified an American theme, though!