Malala Yousafzai, who as a teenager was shot for promoting women’s right to education, says Western countries need to open their borders to those fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Ms Yousafzai, whose recovery from the Pakistani Taliban’s assassination attempt made her a global figure, reacted to the news of the fall of Kabul with fear.
“We watch in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan,” the Nobel Peace Prize recipient said on Twitter.
“I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates.”
On Monday local time, thousands of people swarmed Kabul’s international airport in a chaotic and desperate attempt to escape Taliban rule.
Some clung to the fuselage of a US plane as it took off, appearing to plummet to their deaths.
Yousafzai told the BBC that Western countries had to be prepared to accept an influx of Afghan refugees.
“Countries need to open their borders,” she said.
“Every country has a role and responsibility right now.
“My request to all countries, especially the US, UK, and western countries, is that they must protect all those human and women’s rights activists right now.”
Amnesty International and much of the global community have expressed dismay at the likelihood of widespread human rights abuses in Afgnanistan under Taliban rule.
Australian troops are being deployed on a rescue mission to evacuate Australian citizens and Afghans who assisted the ADF.
However, Defence Minister Peter Dutton has said it was not clear when the Australians would be able to land.
Ms Yousafzai’s fight for education received global attention when she was 15, after a would-be assassin from the Pakistani Taliban boarded her schoolbus and shot her in the head.
While separate organisations, the Pakistani Taliban — also known as the TTP — and Afghan Taliban are loosely linked.
Her recovery propelled her into the global spotlight and her advocacy for access to education as a “basic right” led to her selection as the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient.