I saw an article from the The Nation recently with the headline “Obama Won’t Let Some Mass Graves Stop the TPP.” At first I thought they were referring to the mass graves recently discovered in Texas. However, what The Nation article is referring to is the fact that Malaysia is a tier 3 country in the ranking system that the US has for human rights. In the language of the TPP there is a ban on tier 3 countries. So there was debate as to what was going to be done in regards to Malaysia. Well the Obama administrations came up with a novel idea. They would simply reclassify Malaysia and take it off the tier 3 list.
What I find to be interesting is that the mass graves inMalaysia are presumably filled with the bodies of immigrant workers.
Malaysia is home to many “outsourcing companies” that are, in reality, professional slaving operations: foreign workers, often refugees fleeing desperate situations in nearby countries like Burma, are recruited to the country with the promise of legitimate work but then subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The State Department and international human rights groups have routinely concluded the Malaysian government does very little to inhibit the traffickers’ operation.
This is similar to the bodies recently discovered in Texas. People from Latin American countries who are fleeing repression and death, largely supported by the US, are enticed to the US border, where it is the policy of the US for someone who is seeking political asylum to present themselves at the US border and claim asylum. However, what generally happens when they reach the border is that they again face death from a number of fronts.