Treat migrant workers as more than foreign bodies and people might stop rejecting them

It is a Tuesday night at the migrant workers' clinic, and I keep hearing the sound of a baby crying. I have been doing paperwork, but my table has been co-opted because someone needs it to do a blood test.

I roam the crowded clinic, where men sit waiting knee-to-knee to see the doctor. The crying is coming from the phone screen of a middle-aged worker from China. He watches, mouth trembling, as this child keeps screaming somewhere on the other side of the world. The sound is very loud. Nobody has the heart to ask him to turn it off.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 16, 2018, with the headline 'Migrant workers showed me how to take blood pressure, and more'. Print Edition | Subscribe