00:06 GMT +320 August 2018
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    Sondos Alqattan

    'Pretty Face, Ugly Attitude': Kuwaiti Blogger Under Fire for 'Promoting Slavery'

    © Photo: sondos_aq/instagram
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    Earlier this week, a Kuwaiti makeup blogger and social media “influencer” with 2.3 million Instagram followers posted a video complaining about the government’s reforms granting domestic workers a number of rights to protect them from labor abuses.

    In a now-deleted Instagram clip, Sondos Alqattan laid out her thoughts on the Kuwaiti government’s decision to allow Filipino migrant workers to take a day off every week and not surrender their passports.

    “The new laws that have been passed are pathetic. Honestly, I disagree. For [a maid] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her. How can you have a servant at home who gets to keep their passport with them? If they ran away and went back to their country, who’ll refund me? I don’t want a Filipino maid anymore,” she told her 2.3 million followers.

    Her remarks have sparked outrage, with many dismissing the Kuwaiti celebrity as the “face of modern day slavery” and calling on major beauty companies partnering with Alqattan to boycott her:

    Users pointed out the contradiction between her exterior beauty and her “ugly attitude”:

    Others demanded that she publicly apologize for her statement and called her “ignorant”:

    Kuwait, like many other Middle East countries, operates a kafala sponsorship system for unskilled migrants who work primarily in the construction and domestic sectors. The system was at the epicenter of a diplomatic standoff between the Philippines and Kuwait when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte banned his country’s citizens from traveling to the Gulf state to work in light of a series of murder cases involving Filipino victims.

    READ MORE: 'Tragic Scale' of Modern Slavery in Britain Revealed in 'Landmark' Report

    In May, the Philippines and Kuwait signed a memorandum of agreement providing additional protection for overseas Filipino household workers in the Gulf state. Under the new law, employers should provide Filipino workers with food, clothing, health insurance, standard labor contracts, as well as the right to use cell phones, keep their passports and have one day off per week.

    Tags:
    passport, Filipino, migrant, labor, workers, households, slavery, beauty blogger, blogger, Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines, Kuwait
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