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Tue 14 Aug 2018 09:36 AM

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Kuwaiti employers not following rules governing domestic help - report

A survey from the Kuwait Times found that many employers are ignoring legislation governing the rights of Filipino domestic workers in the Gulf country

Kuwaiti employers not following rules governing domestic help - report

An informal survey conducted by the Kuwait Times has found that 78 percent of Filipino domestic workers do not get a day off each week, the newspaper has reported.

The report suggested that a vast majority of employers do not follow Kuwait’s domestic labour law designed to give employees basic working rights.

In May, the governments of the Philippines and Kuwait signed an agreement signed an agreement detailing working hours and days off specified as requirements by President Rodrigo Duterte in exchange for lifting a ban on Filipino workers coming to Kuwait.

Many maids quoted by the newspaper, however, said that two months later these conditions are not being met by their employers.

“I only get a day off every Christmas. That’s it,” a Filipina named Felicitas was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Others, such as 56-year old Amfaro, reported that they were not allowed to leave their sponsors’ homes without chaperones.

“My mama [female employer] doesn’t allow me to visit Kuwait City or any other place without ‘bodyguards’ as they do not trust anyone mingling with us, especially strangers,” she said, adding that she believes the practice means she is “being cared for and protected.”

The issue of the working conditions of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait was starkly highlighted in July, after blogger and social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan posted a video criticising legislation protecting the rights of Filipino domestic workers.

Amid widespread public backlash to her comments, a number of brands cut ties with her. Additionally, a Manila-based migrant’s advocacy group is urged president Duterte to declare her a persona non grata in the Philippines.

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