Labor trafficking at the height of the pandemic

Labor trafficking is one of the most common forms of human trafficking, and it usually starts with the promise of a better income. Victims get lured in by the possibilities, only to find disappointment on the other side. Such was the case for Elizabeth, a young woman from Sri Lanka who lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elizabeth was one of the primary breadwinners for her family, and she needed to make more money than the local jobs had to offer. She started looking for better opportunities internationally and found another Sri Lankan who was working in Lesotho. He promised to find her a job and arranged for her to travel to Lesotho. Elizabeth received a contract outlining her salary and accommodations, and she set off for her new life.

When she arrived in Lesotho, she was met with a much different reality. She was forced into hard, unpaid labor in miserable conditions. Her boss beat her, confiscated her personal documents, and falsely reported Elizabeth to the police for theft.

The police arrived to arrest Elizabeth, but they quickly realized she was a victim of labor trafficking. They rescued her from the workplace and brought her to the BDS shelter for safety.

Elizabeth arrived at the shelter bruised, scarred, and scared to death. She told our volunteers that she felt like her power had been taken from her. BDS provided her with shelter and basic needs, and we connected her with a psychologist to help her recover from her trauma.

We are committed to helping Elizabeth find stable work. We have helped her write a resume to send to potential employers, and we’ve enrolled her in skill development courses at the shelter. Elizabeth has settled in well and is taking steps toward a brighter future.

Beautiful Dream Society loves empowering women to overcome their adversities. We need your help to continue our mission. If you’d like to help us prevent human trafficking and combat the effects of labor trafficking, please donate to BDS.

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Pretenses and lost dreams

In the rugged terrain of Qacha’s Nek, where life’s hardships are as common as the stones underfoot, young Diana grew up with few prospects and little hope. The second of three children in a family grappling with the loss of their mother and the unemployment of their father, Diana’s childhood was marked by survival, not dreams.

A dream derailed

Ben, the youngest of five siblings, found himself burdened with responsibility early in life following the death of his parents. Living in his family’s homestead in Lesotho with his eldest brother and sister, he had to drop out of high school to care for his ailing mother, relying on odd jobs to support his dwindling family finances. A skilled soccer player, Ben dreamed of a life beyond his immediate struggles, a dream that seemed within reach when a recruiter approached him with a life-changing offer.

When desperation is exploited

Sarah lived a modest life in Sri Lanka, caring for her ailing mother alongside her sister. Her father passed away, leaving the two sisters to shoulder the financial responsibilities of their family. While her sister worked in insurance, Sarah found employment in local clothing production factories. The meager earnings were insufficient to cover their mother’s escalating medical expenses, pushing Sarah to seek better opportunities.

End human trafficking.