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July 8, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

3 min read

Lesotho is all out to eradicate human trafficking

Lesotho is all out to eradicate human trafficking

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HUMAN trafficking is a crime against humanity that involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some form of labour or commercial sex act.

The government of Lesotho is trying every trick in the book to eradicate the scourges of the crime that sees millions of men, woman and children being trafficked across the world for among others cheap labour and sex.

Recently, the government through the Ministry of Home Affairs rescued a total of 31 Basotho from being trafficked.

The initiative, according to the Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa resulted in improved relations between Lesotho and the American government which is spearheading the fight against human trafficking.

The relations had been strained by Lesotho’s inability to contain the crime, with scores of females especially, young girls being sold in neighbouring countries mainly South Africa where they work as sex slaves for inconsequential sums of money.

Through vigilant public servants stationed at the country’s numerous border gates with South Africa, the home affairs ministry also cracked down on a syndicate of pimps that is responsible for the sale of young girls across the borders.

Recent studies show that the skyrocketing human trafficking cases are being fueled by the ever mounting rate of unemployment and desperation for jobs in most countries, worldwide.

The home affairs ministry says human trafficking victims are readily recognisable through their erratic behaviour and unusual movements, which help immigration officials to identify them effortlessly.

In a bid to combat this crime that knows no boundaries and that does not recognise any gender line or age limit, the government of Lesotho has established a task-force team made up of among others police, non-governmental organisations and intelligence officers.

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The team will primarily focus on investigating cases of human trafficking and taking suspects before the courts of law.

In a move to take the fight against human trafficking to a much higher level, the Lesotho Parliament also recently amended the human trafficking law, by giving the magistrates the authority to try human trafficking cases, which were previously only heard by the High Court.

The move ought to be lauded as the law also prohibits the granting of a fine to any person convicted of the crime.

Recently, a pimp was sent to jail after he was found guilty of the crime and like the law stipulates, he was not given an option to pay fine.

The government through the instigation of the American government has launched a nationwide probe to investigate the involvement of the civil servants in acts of human trafficking.

Lesotho’s efforts to crack down on human trafficking and other crimes against humanity also saw the country moving from tier 3 to tier 2, a position at which it is at least seen to be doing something about the crime.

 

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