He further added that many of the refugees and migrants say they were beaten and forced to work for long hours without any food or water, and they were kept in cramped conditions, often without any toilet facilities or ventilation, indicating that hundreds of them told the UNHCR teams they had not eaten for days.The spokesman also elaborated by saying that UNHCR staff had identified a worrying number of unaccompanied and separated children, many under the age of six, adding that a large number of them reported losing parents on the journey to Libya or in the chaos that resulted during the events of the last few weeks.
"Since the onset of this humanitarian crisis, UNHCR staff have been on the ground providing emergency assistance in all locations where refugees and migrants have been transferred to, and are conducting assessments to determine needs and vulnerabilities.
UNHCR has delivered more than 15 truckloads of relief items, including sleeping mats, mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits and winter jackets.
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UNCHR's spokesman stated in a Geneva presser that for over a week, their teams have been working around the clock to meet the urgent needs of over 14,500 migrants and refugees who were being held captive by smugglers in different locations, including farms, houses and warehouses in and around the coastal city of Sabratha in Libya.
He added that the refugees and migrants were taken to a hangar in the Dahman area in Sabratha that has been serving as an assembly point since the onset of the crisis.
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"UNHCR colleagues on the front lines describe a picture of human suffering and abuse on a shocking scale.