U.S. Embassy Maseru Convenes Bilateral TIP Dialogue with Key Government Officials

Maseru, Lesotho, November 9, 2021:  On Monday, November 8, U.S. Ambassador Rebecca Gonzales convened a bilateral dialogue with key government ministries to discuss Lesotho’s progress on anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) efforts in line with recommendations from the Department of State’s 2021 TIP Report.

U.S. Ambassador Rebecca Gonzales hosted Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa, Minister of Police and Public Safety Lepota Sekola, Minister of Justice and Law Lekhetho Rakuoane, their respective Principal Secretaries, and several other key government stakeholders for an opportunity to review the country’s interim progress on critical anti-TIP efforts and make recommendations to ensure concrete and achievable results before the end of the reporting period in early 2022.

The bilateral dialogue also underscored U.S. Embassy Maseru’s partnership with the Government of Lesotho, community partners, and other key stakeholders who are working to advance local anti-TIP efforts and achieve demonstrable success on critical human trafficking concerns.

In a press statement following the dialogue, Ambassador Gonzales stated, “I will continue to reiterate that combating human trafficking is a top priority for the United States government.  My team and I want to support the Government of Lesotho to make rapid progress toward achieving the recommendations in the 2021 TIP Report to avoid any assistance restrictions… We want to see Lesotho’s meaningful anti-TIP progress that would warrant an upgrade to Tier 2 by the end of February 2022 because this means that we will have supported the protection of crucial foreign assistance and the country’s proposed second Millennium Challenge Corporation compact.”

When speaking about the bilateral dialogue, Minister Letsosa underscored the Government of Lesotho’s commitment to making progress toward eliminating trafficking in persons. “Through the National Strategic Framework and Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons 2021 – 2026, we have become more organized and effective in our multi-sectoral response to trafficking in persons…The strides continue to be taken at all levels of government ministries and with key stakeholders toward prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership,” he noted.

For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Maseru via email at InfoMaseru@state.gov.