Sondos Alqattan, an Instagram star and makeup artist with over 2.3 million followers, criticised new laws giving Filipino workers a day off per week and preventing employers from seizing their passports. “ How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with them? What’s worse is they have one day off every week ,” she said in a video posted online, which has gone viral and attracted criticism in the Middle East and the Philippines.
Alqattan slated reforms introduced in May to protect the rights of Filipino domestic workers: “If they run away and go back to their country, who will refund me? Honestly, I disagree with this law. I don’t want a Filipino maid any more.”
She is facing a storm of criticism for her comments, including from Migrante International, an advocacy group for overseas Filipino workers, which likened Alqattan’s comments to those of “a slave owner”, and she was clinging “to a backward outlook which literally belongs to the dark ages”.
Critics are pushing for Alqattan’s sponsors to drop lucrative endorsement deals following her comments, which cap months of diplomatic controversy between the Philippines and Kuwait over the Gulf nation’s treatment of domestic workers.
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