MANILA - A Kuwaiti social media influencer recently made headlines in the Middle East after she publicly complained about a new law allowing Filipino domestic helpers to keep their passports and have rest days.
"How can you have a 'servant' in your house who gets to keep their passport with them?" Sondos Alqattan said in an Arabic video uploaded and translated by TRT World, an English-language news channel based in Istanbul, Turkey.
"And what's worse is they have one day off every week," Alqattan said.
"If they ran away and went back to their country, who'll refund me? Honestly, I disagree with this law. I don't want a Filipino maid anymore," she said.
Alqattan has been slammed and criticized online for being a "racist" and for treating migrant workers as "slaves."
As of July 19, Alqattan has disabled the comments section on her Instagram account where she has 2.1 million followers.
The Kuwaiti government recently allowed Filipino overseas workers to be exempted from several provisions from the "Kafala system" after a diplomatic row with the Philippines in the first half of 2018.
The Kafala system is an Arabic sponsorship system that allows employers to exert "ownership" over their workers. This gives employers the right to decide the terms of employment and when to terminate the contract regardless of the wishes of the employee.
The law that protects OFWs in Kuwait was signed in May after President Rodrigo Duterte temporarily banned Filipinos from flying to the Gulf state where many Filipinos suffered abuse from employers.