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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Kuwaiti beauty blogger faces backlash over comments on Filipino overseas workers

Sondos Alqattan, who has about 2.3 million Instagram followers, expressed displeasure at the changes to Kuwait’s laws, which give Filipino workers the right to a day off

Kuwaiti make-up artist Sondos Al Qattan. Courtesy Shiseido
Kuwaiti make-up artist Sondos Al Qattan. Courtesy Shiseido

A newly passed law, giving Filipino migrant workers wider rights in Kuwait, such as having a day off and having their passports in their own possession, angered a Kuwaiti beauty guru so much, that she unleashed an angry tirade about it on her blog.

Sondos Al Qattan, who has about 2.3 million followers on Instagram, expressed her displeasure at the changes to the country’s laws, saying: "These contracts [new laws regarding Filipino workers] are a mere comedy. I am told about the conditions and I am shocked. She [the maid] asks for a break every five hours, maybe this seems normal. But how can one keep a maid at home and not keep her passport?"

Al Qattan also said she was upset that her domestic helper would be out of the house for four days a month, "She goes out one day a week and works for 6 days which brings her total days out to 4 a month, and one has no clue what happens during those [4] days when her passport is in her possession," the disgruntled blogger said.

The post has caused a global outcry on social media, with many, including Migrante Home Office, a group supporting the rights of overseas Filipino workers, demanding a public apology.

Others are calling for brands that Al Qattan represents to drop her.

The damaging comments come after a months-long diplomatic row, between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Kuwait, over the treatment of domestic workers. The discord began in February when a murdered Filipina maid was found in her employer's freezer in Kuwait City.

Duterte then spoke out about the "inhuman" treatment of migrant workers and banned workers from travelling to Kuwait. The ban was lifted after the two countries worked out an agreement for safety guarantees for Filipinos employed in Kuwait. These agreements have led to Al Qattan's outburst.

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Read more:

Philippines moves to halt Kuwait migrant row

Filipinos criticise president over 'reckless' ban on workers in Kuwait

Editorial: Death sentence for Joanna's killers sends strong message

Kuwait and Philippines strike domestic worker deal

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