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.