JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- As human trafficking incidents between Lesotho and South Africa increase, Lesotho's Home Affairs Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa said collaboration between the two countries could be crucial in combating the scourge.
"People working at the border as the police and transport people, those are critical partners. If we work together, I strongly believe that we can combat trafficking in persons," he said to the South African Broadcasting Corporation at the Maseru Bridge Border Post on Thursday.
Speaking with Xinhua, Kutloano Lerotha, Lesotho consulate officer in Welkom in the Free State, South Africa, said they had observed a spike in the number of young Lesotho women and boys becoming victims of trafficking, with around 10 human trafficking cases reported to their office every week.
"Most vulnerable are the young ladies and young men due to illegal mining," he said, "Lesotho nationals get promised jobs and are brought to South Africa but to be involved in sex trafficking and some get exploited in homes."
"They are recruited to work in illegal mining and there's a syndicate behind this," he said, adding that it was important to raise awareness about the issue so more young people who fell victim to this could be saved.
Lesotho was working with security agencies in South Africa such as the Hawks, South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, and the police to tackle the issue.