Kuwaiti blogger lambasted for branding domestic workers rights reforms 'a joke'

Kuwaiti blogger lambasted for branding domestic workers rights reforms 'a joke'
Sondos Alqattan was slammed after she attacked reforms to Filipino workers' rights in Kuwait, saying workers should have no right to a day off.
2 min read
21 Jul, 2018
Calls to boycott Sondos Alqattan were made [Instagram]

A famous Kuwaiti blogger and makeup artist came under fire after branding Kuwait’s reforms to ensure the human rights of Filipino domestic workers “a joke”.

Social media celebrity Sondos Alqattan, who has a whopping Instagram following of 2.3 million, slammed reforms agreed by Kuwait and Manila to secure the rights of Filipino workers after a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

According to the new pact, Filipino workers will be entitled to keep their passports, have a break every five hours during their working day and one day off a week.

“What are these complexities? This film? This joke?” Alqattan said in a video posted on her Instagram account earlier this week.

“There are some rules that have had me shocked. There are some like being able to take a break every five hours — that’s okay.”

“But how can someone have a person working in their homes and their passport is with the worker? If she took her passport and fled, who will reimburse me?” Alqattan added.

She then went on to complain that domestic workers can now have one day off a week:

“What’s worse than this, she’s now entitled to one day off every day. One day! What else now?”

“I don’t want a Filipina housemaid anymore. For her to go out one day in a week? That’s four days in a month”, she added.

“She will only be working six days a week. We have no idea what she will be getting up to on those four days she’s off, especially with her passport on her”.

The video made rounds on social media, sparking anger across the world, highlighting that foreign workers in Kuwait are forced to endure slave-like conditions:

'A spoiled rich Arab'

There were calls to boycott her and calls for makeup brands to disassociate themselves from her:

The agreement that inspired Alqattan's racist rant came about after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a partial ban on workers travelling to Kuwait.

The ban followed the shocking discovery of the corpse of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis in a freezer.

Her murder attracted global attention to the alleged mistreatment of domestic workers in Kuwait and condemnation from leading human rights organisations.