Kuwait: Social media star Qattan sticks to controversial statements on Filipino house workers

Kuwaiti popular figure Sondo al-Qattan has refused to apologize to the public after she made comments castigating the country’s decision to provide better working conditions to Filipinas.

The woman who is reckoned as an influencer in the Gulf country Monday bolstered her July 10 comments posted on Instagram where she attacked Kuwait’s new labor regulations signed with Philippines. The new regulations grant house workers a day off per week and ban employers from seizing their passports.

“All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant’s passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agree with me,” Qattan stressed in comments to AFP.

“I have the right as a kafil (sponsor) to keep my employee’s passport, and I am responsible for paying a deposit of up to 1,500 dinars (around $4,900),” she said.

Kuwait and the Asian country in May reached new deals on the recruitment of Filipinos employed as house workers in the Gulf country. The two states fell out in March after Manila accused Kuwaiti employers of inflicting abuses on the Filipino workers.

Qattan also told AFP that her comments do not account for an “insult to the employee, and do not concern humanity or human rights because I did not deprive the employee of her salary or beat her”.

“The servant lives in the house just like the owners, eats the same food, sleeps, rests and goes out shopping… this is a natural right. He’s not like a waiter who works fixed hours, so we give him a weekly leave,” she added.

The woman with over 2 million followers on Instagram faced a storm of condemnations on social media over the comments with many asking her to apologize. Some users called on brands working with the make-up expert to part away with her, AFP reports.

Qattan is popular on internet for her make-up tutorials.

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