The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has deplored the death of at least 20 migrants in the Libyan desert as it urged bolder action to protect migrants along the Libya-Chad border.

"The death of 20 people in the Libyan desert yesterday is yet another wake-up call for the whole international community and a reminder that we are very far from achieving the goal of ‘leaving no one behind,' the mantra of the 2030 Agenda,” says Federico Soda, IOM Libya Chief of Mission.

According to the Libyan Ambulance and Emergency Services, the group, mainly Chadians, besides two Libyans, are believed to have died of dehydration.

"The loss of lives we are witnessing both in the Mediterranean Sea and in the deserts of southern Libya is both unacceptable and avoidable," the IOM statement says.

According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, more than 2,000 migrant deaths have been documented since 2014 in the Sahara Desert, which the organization described as one of the most perilous and deadliest migration routes, cautioning that experts believe the numbers are higher than those registered.

The UN organization highlighted that gold mining in northern Chad, which intensified since 2012 has led to a rise in the cases of human trafficking and smuggling.

"In the absence of safe migration pathways, migrants take risky roads, fall into the hands of traffickers, or get lost in the desert – with often devastating consequences," said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chad Chief of Mission.

The IOM confirmed the documentation of over 45,000 migrants at the Faya, Zouarké, and Ounianga Kébir Flow Monitoring Points in Northern Chad between January and March 2022, noting that among the migrants surveyed by IOM during that period, 32 percent were heading towards Libya.