The Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police in collaboration with the TIP Multi-Sectoral Committee, on Sunday the 30th of July 2023 commemorated World Day against Trafficking in Persons at Maputsoe, Leribe District. The event started with a fun walk from Maputsoe Bridge as it is one of the commercial borders in the country and a hotspot for trafficking in persons activities.
According to the Minister of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police Honourable Lebona Lephema while delivering his speech at the commemoration, expressed his heartfelt sympathy for Victims and echoed “I never thought in my lifetime that I will be standing before you today talking about the Trafficking in Persons which one would think that this was slavery phenomenon of the past, but it is happening today in our times to our children, brothers and sisters’’ said the Minister.
As the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, they are committed to fighting tooth and nail this in-human crime together with the International Cooperating Partners (ICP). “You will recall that the government has provided a shelter for female Victims of Trafficking (VoT)” he said.
Furthermore, he said the government has also engaged Global Fund through his ministry to expand the support to the victims of Trafficking in Persons in three Districts, namely Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek and Leribe. Though that is not enough, they are also designing a training curriculum for security sector to augment the Crime Prevention Strategy, especially at the border control points and creating an awareness to the citizens of our country. These efforts are all intended to “REACH EVERY VICTIM AND LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND”
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator MS. Amanda Khozi Mukwashi said she was pleased to learn that this event is held in Maputsoe, Leribe, a District that is piloting Trafficking in Persons interventions, and in particular, the UN commends the district for setting up the TIP Multi-Sectoral Committee and actioning the many TIP reports that have been emerging in the district.
She said Human Trafficking is a violation of human rights and a crime that destroys the victims’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The demand for cheap labour, sexual services, and certain criminal activities are among its root causes. Poverty of opportunity and resources, as well as a lack of social power are other important contributing factors.
The UN recognizes the continuous support of the US Government to strengthen the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) response in the Kingdom of Lesotho through enhanced identification, protection and referral of potential victims of trafficking at district and national.