About the Migration Governance Indicators
About the Migration Governance Indicators
Migrants' rights
Migrants' rights

Indicators in this domain assess the extent to which migrants have the same status as citizens in terms of access to basic social services such as health, education, and social security. It also describes the rights of migrants to family reunification, to work, and to residency and citizenship. The ratification of the main international conventions is also included within this domain.

Whole of government approach
Whole of government approach

Indicators in this domain assess countries’ institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks related to migration policies. Domain 2 also reviews the existence of national migration strategies that are in-line with development, as well as institutional transparency and coherence in relation to migration management. This domain also investigates the extent to which governments collect and use migration data.

Partnerships
Partnerships

This domain focuses on countries’ efforts to cooperate on migration-related issues with other states and with relevant non-governmental actors, including civil society organizations and the private sector. Cooperation can lead to improvements in governance by aligning and raising standards, increasing dialogue and providing structures to overcome challenges.

Well-being of migrants
Well-being of migrants

This domain includes indicators on countries’ policies for managing the socioeconomic well-being of migrants, through aspects such as the recognition of migrants’ educational and professional qualifications, provisions regulating student migration and the existence of bilateral labour agreements between countries. Indicators equally focus on policies and strategies related to diaspora engagement and migrant remittances.

Mobility dimensions of crises
Mobility dimensions of crises

This domain studies the type and level of preparedness of countries when they are faced with mobility dimensions of crises, linked to either disasters, the environment and/or conflict. The questions are used to identify the processes in place for nationals and non-nationals both during and after disasters, including whether humanitarian assistance is equally available to migrants as it is to citizens.

Safe, orderly and dignified migration
Safe, orderly and dignified migration

This domain analyses countries’ approach to migration management in terms of border control and enforcement policies, admission criteria for migrants, preparedness and resilience in the case of significant and unexpected migration flows, as well as the fight against trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. It also assesses efforts and incentives to help integrate returning citizens.

Key findings
INTRODUCTION

This country snapshot describes examples of well-developed areas of the Kingdom of Lesotho’s (hereafter referred to as Lesotho) migration governance structures and areas with potential for further development, as evaluated by the six domains of the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI). These address migrants’ rights, a “whole-of-government” approach, partnerships, socioeconomic well-being of migrants, the mobility dimensions of crises, and safe and orderly migration. 

Click on the icons on the wheel to explore the key findings. 

The Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) initiative is a policy-benchmarking programme led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and implemented with the support of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Key findings
MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • All immigrants, including refugees, victims of trafficking and irregular immigrants, have equal access to health care. However, for certain procedures requiring payment, immigrants may have to pay higher fees than nationals. 

  • Education is available to all children between the ages of 6 and 13, including immigrants. 

  • Lesotho is in the final stages of adopting the Immigration and Citizenship Bill, 2018, which states that permanent residence shall be granted to persons who have resided in Lesotho for five years and who possess a returning migrant, spousal, or residence permit.  

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • To ensure full implementation of the portability of social security rights, including for all migrant workers, the Social Security policy and the Social Security Bill need to be approved. 

  •  Before a foreigner can receive a work permit, the National Employment Service must certify that no citizen of Lesotho is qualified and available for the employment in question. 

  • Permanent positions in the public sector are limited to Basotho nationals, while foreigners can undertake only specific tasks.

Key findings
WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT APPROACH 

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • The Immigration and Citizenship Bill of 2018, which is in its final stage, is intended to provide a comprehensive overhaul of immigration policy. 

  • The Labour Code Order No.24 of 1992 gives guidance on labour emigration matters with a specific focus on social protection. 

  • The National Consultative Committee on Migration (NCC), co-chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs and IOM is an inter-ministerial mechanism coordinating migration-related policy efforts. The members include several ministries, social partners, employers and members of trade unions, academia and community-based organizations dealing with migration. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • While there is a draft national migration and development policy, there is not yet a national strategy in place.  

  • The Bureau of Statistics (BOS) collects migration data systematically through Censuses and surveys, but the scope and related analysis are limited.  

  • Although there have been several attempts to increase participation of diaspora members in policy development, there is currently no dedicated agency tasked with the engagement of the diasporas. 

Key findings
PARTNERSHIPS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • Lesotho is a member state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and of the African Union, besides participating in the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) initiative. 

  • Lesotho as an MOU on labour with South Africa, and an MOU with Mauritius is currently under discussion. Other MOUs include one with Angola and Mozambique for visa abolition. 

  • The National Consultative Committee on Migration and Development engages diverse stakeholders and working groups including civil society. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • Engagement of the private sector in the National Consultative Committee on Migration (NCC) to discuss migration policy has been very limited and irregular. 

Key findings
WELL-BEING OF MIGRANTS

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas:  

  • The Lesotho Immigration and Citizenship Policy 2017 is the first development-oriented immigration policy in the country and complements the Immigration and Citizenship Bill of 2018 which relaxes citizenship procedures for those intending to establish a business. 

  • In an attempt to strengthen labour migration management, Lesotho has relied extensively on bilateral policies with South Africa. 

  • The Government is currently negotiating a labour mobility agreement with the Republic of Mauritius to diversify the countries of destination and through circular labour migration programmes. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • There is currently no programme monitoring labour market demand for immigrants in Lesotho.  

  • The country has not yet developed remittance schemes, despite the important contribution of remittances to the national economy. 

Key findings
MOBILITY DIMENSION OF CRISES

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • Embassies and Consulates provide assistance to Basotho living abroad in need of social assistance and during emergencies, for instance through emergency travel documents.  

  • There is a system in place to communicate information on the evolving nature of crises and how to access assistance. 

  • The meteorological service provides early warnings of weather events. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • The Lesotho National Strategic Development Plan and the Disaster Management Act (No. 2 of 1997) do not include a plan of action to tackle displacement in times of crisis. 

  • The Disaster Management Act (No. 2 of 1997) does not set out procedures to manage large-scale population movements in the event of crisis. 

Key findings
SAFE, ORDERLY AND DIGNIFIED MIGRATION

Migration Governance: Examples of well-developed areas: 

  • The Government of Lesotho’s strategy to combat human trafficking is integrated into the National Anti-trafficking in Persons Strategic Framework and Action Plan/Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, No. 1 of 2011, as well as into the National Anti-trafficking of Persons Regulations (No. 135 of 2015).  

  • Visa options are clearly outlined on the official Lesotho E-Visa website and the Immigration and Citizenship Bill, 2018, mandates the creation of Visa Issuance Centres in the Department of Immigration and Lesotho embassies. 

Areas with potential for further development:  

  • Despite efforts made by the establishment of the Heads of Border Agencies, there is no single body tasked with integrated border control and safety as responsibilities are split between government departments. 

  • Although the Immigration and Citizenship Bill, 2018, intends to regulate visa overstays, there is a limited system in place to monitor overstays.  

  • There are no regularly published reports of anti-trafficking activities in Lesotho and legislation to tackle the smuggling of migrants needs to be strengthened.  

  • There are limited programmes for attracting nationals who have migrated from the country or to facilitate their reintegration.    

2018 September

Migration Governance Snapshot: The Kingdom of Lesotho