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Human trafficking victims get new home

Home affairs minister Motlalentoa Letsosa and head of IOM Lesotho, Eriko Nishimura

Feb. 15, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

WHILE the global scale of human trafficking is difficult to quantify precisely, it is however estimated that about 40.3 million people are trafficked globally, and organised criminal groups are earning an estimated 150 billion US dollars in profits from forced labour alone.

This was revealed on Friday by head of Office International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Lesotho, Eriko Nishimura in Maseru.

Ms Nishimura made the remarks during the handover ceremony of a renovated shelter for victims of trafficking by the Ministry of Home Affairs to a local Non-Governmental Organisation called Beautiful Dream Society Lesotho.

Through a partnership with Beautiful Dream Society Lesotho, the shelter will amongst others provide food and psychosocial support to victims of trafficking.

The facility will also be used as a crisis shelter for victims of trafficking (VoT) in Lesotho.

Ms Nishimura said trafficked persons are often victims to abuse such as rape, torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement, and threats against their family or other persons close to them as well as through use of other forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence.

“The demand for cheap labour, sexual services and certain criminal activities are among the root causes of trafficking while a lack of opportunity, resources and social standing are other contributing factors,” she added.

She further noted that in Lesotho, migration has been important for the country’s development and poverty reduction at households over decades.

She added that however, today, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact, there is a need to pay closer attention to the vulnerable populations who can be easily deceived by malicious human traffickers who are always preying upon the most vulnerable and look for opportunities to exploit them.

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Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa said as the focal ministry in the fight against human trafficking, they have made tireless efforts towards counter trafficking over the past six months.

The Cabinet, he also showed has established a sub-Committee to effectively tackle human trafficking and

proposed an amendment to the anti-trafficking in persons law in Lesotho.

The National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Action Plan, he said was revised to cover 2021-2026, and a Multi-Sectoral Committee on TIP has met to improve coordination and cooperation at technical level.

He thanked both the government of Japan and its people along with the IOM for enabling Lesotho to have a permanent shelter for victims of trafficking in the country.





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