By Itumeleng Lipala
The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Beautiful dream society (BDS) Lesotho and the Lesotho mounted police service (LMPS) was held on the 12th April 2023 at the LMPS Headquarters boardroom Maseru. The purpose of signing of the memorandum of understanding is to alleviate and eradicate human trafficking in the country.
Mr Beleme Lebajoa, the Deputy Commissioner of the LMPS explained that the MoU is a continuation of good relations between the LMPS and the BDS. They have been working harmoniously together since 2011, a year after BDS started its operations. BDS has been supporting human trafficking victims with transport and accommodation. The MoU was signed by the Commissioner of the LMPS, Holomo Molibeli and the director of the BDS, Ms Mojabeng ‘Makhalalelo Mosebo.
“Our primary mandate is to provide safe shelter to female victims of human trafficking…”
The president of the BDS, Mr Malikoe Ernest Lali elaborated that their organization is an anti-trafficking organization which was incorporated in 2010 and aim to help victims through the process of healing and restoration. Their goal is to raise awareness, take legal action where appropriate and offer rehabilitation services to rescued victims of human trafficking in order to fight this injustice from a comprehensive approach. “Our primary mandate is to provide safe shelter to female victims of human trafficking, however, we were approached by the government to provide another home for vulnerable children due of the shortage of fund crisis in the country which caused multiple children’s homes to close down. We therefore opened a children’s home for boys and girls in 2014,” Stipulated Lali.
The BDS introduced a border screening project in March 2021 whose aim was to reduce human trafficking through transit monitoring. They also want to branch out to address this issue from a preventive standout, to cripple the human trafficking trade. Returning dignity to human trafficking survivors; they embrace all women and children by providing shelter, food, clothing, and emotional, legal, psychological and spiritual support in a safe, trauma-free environment. They help educating communities about the value of women and girls; every girl and woman matters and has the right to live free from slavery.
351 people who were at risk of human trafficking have been intercepted in the different borders of Lesotho through the border screening project. The BDS has a very good working relationship with the LMPS; the relation facilitates and assists awareness events, they both rely on each other equally. They were merely formalizing their relation with the MoU meanwhile they had been working together for some time now. The MoU serves to provide guidelines on their interactions and formally portray their commitment. Their intention is to reinforce their excellent partnership with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service in response to trafficking.
Commissioner Holomo Molibeli highlighted that the victims of human trafficking are affected psychologically, they need to be treated. He indicated that some of the victims were rescued as dead bodies and others are psychologically damaged because of trauma and the drugs and other dangerous substances they were given during capture. It is therefore important for the nation as a whole, not only the LMPS and the BDS to fight against the perpetrators.
“People should be on alert all the time, when offered a job, they must question the description of the job they are being offered and make thorough research about the organization offering them the job, gather all the proof before taking an action. Human trafficking is real and it is taking lives!” Concluded Commissioner.