Like millions before him, Manoj migrated from the southwestern Indian state of Kerala to the Gulf in search of work in 2019. He found a job at a construction company in Bahrain that described itself as a “regional leader”. The pay, at 240 dinars (£577) a month, was far more than he could expect to find at home.

Last February, as cases of COVID-19 soared in Bahrain, the company stopped paying Manoj and two dozen other employees. When they complained, their employer stopped providing food and accommodation, too.

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