Kuwaiti domestic workers are being named and shamed on an Instagram (link is external) account called Mn7asha, or “runaway”.
The account description reads, “An account to display pictures of servants fleeing in Kuwait, together to put an end to this phenomenon.” The account lists a number to send photos to via the mobile messenger Whatsapp and says, “Hand in hand we can make a difference, even a small one.”
The Kuwait Society for Human Rights estimates (link is external) 600,000 domestic workers contribute to the country’s migrant labour force. Foreigners make up the vast majority of Kuwait’s private workforce.
As in other Gulf countries that use the kafala (link is external) (sponsorship) system, migrant workers are tied to the employer sponsoring their visas. Most cannot leave the country without their employer’s permission. Foreign workers trying to escape employers in Kuwait can face (link is external) criminal charges for “absconding”.
The account’s creator defended the page in an Instagram post: “It’s not reasonable to tell me, ‘I want to post a photo of my maid’ and expect me to interrogate [the contributor], ‘why did she run away and what did you do to her?’. But if any women mistreated her maid or beat or tortured her then God will hold her accountable, not me nor you commenters. And I say even if she severely beat her she’d run away to the embassy, not go work elsewhere… .”
(more at the link)