"Gulf countries are highly dependent on migrant workers in almost every major sector… and yet they have utterly failed to protect migrant workers, and treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve"—these words were spoken by a representative of Amnesty International while highlighting the plight of migrant workers during Covid-19 times. In a letter to the UN Secretary General, Bangladesh Civil Society for Migrants expressed concern that during the pandemic, some destination countries are exerting pressure on the origin countries to take back the latter's nationals, and appealed to him to exert his influence on those governments "to take the responsibility of this group of vulnerable workers at this time of crisis". Despite migrant workers' colossal contribution in building the edifices of and shoring up the economies of the Gulf and other Arab countries for decades, coronavirus has betrayed the ill treatment and injustices that have been structurally embedded in this labour market. If anything, thanks to the pandemic, the reality that has thus far remained behind the scenes has been laid bare. Neither the opulent host countries nor most of the countries of origin (in their rush to secure the flow of remittances), have ever cared to duly acknowledge the problems that over time became well entrenched, let alone put in place mechanisms to address them. During the Covid-19 pandemic, narratives (largely on social media) of migrants located in various destination countries convincingly conveyed the dire quandary they are in. Many are without adequate food for days or even weeks, crammed in unhygienic and unsanitary quarters, some even without proper shelters, making a mockery of the WHO call for social distancing. A large segment remains idle as construction sites and other production facilities, restaurants and markets remain shuttered. Faced with a situation of possible deportation, many were forced to accept withholding or reduction of wages without any guarantee of whether they would be reimbursed at all, a measure that is in breach of labour standards. Bereft of any earnings and with fast depleting savings (if they had them at all), they face virtual starvation and are trapped in great uncertainty. Those lucky to retain jobs are unable to send money to their loved ones at home as remittance transfer facilities in destination countries remain closed. The diplomatic missions of their respective countries command meagre resources—far less than the amount the distressed migrants need. In this grave uncertainty, what has come as a bolt from the blue is the arbitrary termination of contracts by employers. Like aftershocks during an earthquake, a large number of migrant workers were speedily notified that their services are no longer  required. It was done at a time when their contracts remained valid. This was not the endTOP of their affliction. To their bewilderment, not only did the workers not receive a penny as

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