woman from Kuwait was detained for filming her maid, an Ethiopian national hanging from a window and screaming for help. In the video, instead of coming to the maid’s assistance, the woman continues filming, and according to multiple reports, can be heard saying “Oh crazy, come back”. The maid’s hand slips, and she falls into an awning.
A widely circulated video shows the maid recuperating in a hospital bed. Middle East Eye quotes the domestic worker saying she is not suicidal, but trying to escape an imminent murder attempt. Rothna Bengun, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, wrote in a 3 April 2017 report on the incident that the abuse of domestic workers in the Gulf Nation has been an ongoing problem, even after it implemented measures to improve conditions.
In 2015, Kuwait took steps to provide migrant domestic workers with labor rights, but it has not reformed the notorious kafala system, under which migrant workers cannot leave or change their employer without the employer’s permission. As a result, while domestic workers now have rights to a weekly day off, daily limits to their working hours, and overtime compensation – they can still be arrested for “absconding” if they escape from their employers, even abusive ones.