The video of an Ethiopian domestic worker begging her employer for help as she is about to fall from a 7th floor window has sparked outrage in the affluent Gulf country.
The maid was filmed holding on to a window frame with one hand as she cries for help. "Hold me, hold me" she is heard saying, as reported by Al-Arabiya. The employer, who is filming the scene replies: "Crazy, come" but does not help the woman – who can be seen losing her grip and falling, you can also hear her hitting the roof of a building beneath her with a loud thump.
While the video then cuts to black, another video shows the Ethiopian woman being helped down by rescuers.
She survived the fall from the building in Sabah al-Salem, a suburb of Kuwait City near the airport, but reported multiple fractures, according to the Kuwait Times.
A lawyer, Fawzia al-Sabah, announced she will file a complaint with the public prosecutor against the maid's employer for failing to provide help.
The video, circulated on social media using the hashtag "the fall of the Ethiopian", drew shocked reactions of viewers who condemned the "inhumanity" of the employer who is failing to act to help the maid.
Human rights organisations have been advocating for years for better conditions for domestic workers in Gulf countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, reporting abuses, exploitations and slave-like conditions.
"Migrant domestic workers are victims of a discriminatory system that denies them basic protections and leaves them open to exploitation and abuse including forced labour and human trafficking," Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International's global issues director, said commenting on a 2014 report on the exploitation of domestic workers in Qatar.
According to Migrant Rights, an advocacy group that aims to advance the rights of migrant workers in the Middle East, 90% of all households in Kuwait employ foreign domestic workers. Human Rights Watch estimated there are more than 660,000 such workers in the country, mostly coming from Asian and African countries.
Only in 2015 did the country move to regulate the labour rights of domestic workers, setting minimum wages, annual leave, weekly day off and 12-hour working day limit and other protections.
Yet, HRW noted in February 2016, "The new law prohibits employers from confiscating workers' passports, a common abuse, but fails to specify penalties and does not include enforcement mechanisms, such as labour inspections."
"In passing the domestic workers law, Kuwaiti legislators took an important step in protecting domestic workers in Kuwait," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director. "They should now look at revisions that would meet additional important international standards."