Lesotho determined to fight modern slavery

August 9, 2019

On 22 August 2019, Lesotho became the 37th country to ratify the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, hence committing to taking effective measures on protection, prevention, and access to justice.

Photo: Chiemgau Biking


Lesotho becomes the 37th country worldwide, and the 9th in Africa, to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol, hence committing to take effective measures to eliminate all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons and debt bondage. In particular, Lesotho must prevent forced labour, protect victims and ensure their access to justice, including compensations.

Trafficking in persons is prohibited by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2011. More recently, Lesotho has strengthened its legal and institutional framework through the adoption in 2018 of the Immigration Act, which provides for the establishment of a multi-sectoral Committee, overseeing all issues of trafficking in persons. Lesotho has adopted its first National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Strategic Framework and Action Plan in 2014, replaced by a new Strategic Framework and Action Plan for the period 2018-2023. The Government has also taken measures to enhancing protection and assistance of victims of trafficking in persons, for instance through the establishment of a shelter for victims of trafficking, funded by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ILO estimates that 25 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour. This ratification brings us closer to the goal of the 50 for Freedom campaign to get the first 50 countries to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol. It also contributes to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and marks Lesotho’s contribution to the ILO’s centenary ratification campaign.