Kuwaiti Instagram star blasts new law allowing Filipino servants to keep passports

How can you have a servant who keeps their own passport? asks Instagram star

How can you have a servant who keeps their own passport? asks Instagram star

Qattan's comments come at a sensitive for the Gulf Kingdom who have just restored relations with the Philippines after the Filipino government broke ties with Kuwait over its treatment of domestic workers.

In a video that she posted last week on her social media accounts, the Kuwaiti social media influencer complained about Filipino domestic workers being allowed to take one rest day per week.

'These contracts [new laws regarding Filipino workers] are a mere comedy, ' she told her followers. But how can one keep a maid at home and not keep her passport?

In a report published by another online-based news platform buzzfeednews.com, the Kuwaiti blogger was also quoted to have said: "Even worse is that they get a day off every single week!" Honestly I disagree with this law. "I don't want a Filipino maid anymore", she was quoted as saying. The group is calling on the social media star to publicly apologize for her demeaning comments.

"We are absolutely shocked by the behaviour of Sondos Alqattan, and we deeply regret the relationship with her, which we are terminating immediately", a spokesperson for M. Micaleff wrote to Gulf News in an email.

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The outrage continues as people call for other high-profile brands that sponsor the influencer - most notably Max Factor and MAC Cosmetics - to cancel their contracts. Duterte asked the estimated 276,000 Filipino workers in the Gulf nation to return home.

These new laws removed a three-month ban for workers from the Philippines to travel to these countries seeking employment after a 29-year-old Filipino maid was murdered and stuffed into a freezer in an abandoned apartment.

The agreement was a sort of modus vivendi to break the diplomatic spat triggered by the distribution of a video showing Department of Foreign Affairs officials and Philippine Embassy personnel in Kuwait rescuing alleged maltreated OFWs from the household of their employers. The incident led to Kuwait's expulsion of the Philippine ambassador and the withdrawal of its own ambassador from Manila.

Ople also rallied all labor-sending countries especially those that deploy domestic workers to Kuwait to also impose a ban against Sondos al-Qattan as a potential employer of a household worker.

Another user pointed out that they are domestic workers and not slaves. According to Human Rights Watch, the country's "kafala" system, which gives employers extensive powers over migrant workers, often forces them to remain with abusive bosses, while those who flee can be punished and imprisoned.

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