Kenya protests Lebanon’s viral controversial maid ad


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Lebanon maid adBEIRUT: Kenya has lodged a complaint through its Beirut consulate against a controversial Mothers’ Day maid ad for “special offers” on Kenyans, which caused an uproar on social media last month.

A judicial source told The Daily Star the consulate filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office Tuesday that the ad was offensive to Kenyan citizens, and urged authorities to punish those responsible.

The advertisement, which was sent to thousands of mobile phone users across Lebanon last month, sparked outrage, with social media users denouncing it as racist.

The ad read: “For Mother’s Day indulge Ur Mom and offer her a housekeeper. Special offers on Kenyan and Ethiopian nationalities for a period of 10 days.”

Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi has referred the maid ad to the prosecutor’s office for investigation.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticized Lebanon over the poor treatment of domestic workers in the country, which uses a sponsorship, or “kafala,” employment system.

The system bounds the maid to the employer, restricts her freedom of movement and denies her protections stipulated in the Lebanese labor law.

In January domestic workers declared the formation of a union to demand better treatment and highlight their current hardships, but it was immediately rejected by Azzi.

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