This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Powerful University Ad Shows The Strength Of Refugee Who Became A Lawyer

He had a horrible childhood, but now he's an accomplished professional.

A new video from Western Sydney University tells the story of one of their recent graduates, a Sudanese refugee who became an accomplished lawyer.

Deng Thiak Adut was taken from his mother when he was six years old and forced to fight with the rebels during the second Sudanese civil war. He was tortured and witnessed horrible atrocities. After being shot in the back at age 12, the U.N. eventually smuggled him out of Sudan. He was then taken to Australia and granted asylum in 1998, according to the video.

It was in Australia that Adut accomplished some amazing things, including teaching himself to read at age 15. He attended Western Sydney University while living in his car and then went on to practice law.

Now, he's calling on Australia to do more to help Syrian refugees.

''They’re innocent children, they have no reason to be in that situation,'' Adut told Daily Mail Australia.

‘'These future generations…whatever trauma they’re being put through they will be the next oppressors of the future.’'

Also on HuffPost

45% of Syrians forced out of their homes
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
More than 10 million Syrians have been forced out of their homes due to the conflict, becoming either “internally displaced” or fleeing altogether, according to Amnesty International.
7.6 million Syrians are displaced within the country
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The UNHCR’s latest figures show the crisis is getting worse. More than 7.6m Syrians have been displaced within the country by the conflict, fleeing to safer areas.
3.8 million have sought refuge in other countries
By December 2014, 3.8 million Syrians had fled the country altogether. They sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. A sizeable proportion then make the perilous journey to Europe.
These numbers may well have increased since the last count, given the advance of Isis and the continued battle between rebel groups and pro-government forces.
33 applications supported by the UN accepted by Gulf nations
Buena Vista Images via Getty Images
The Gulf Cooperation Council's oil-rich states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates accept very few refugees and asylum seekers from Syria.
Since 2011, the UNHCR has supported 63 Syrians with asylum applications in the countries – but just 33 were accepted, despite the UN's support.
Amnesty International has called Gulf states’ contribution “shocking”, the states themselves say they are providing thousands of visitor visas for Syrians, but also protecting against the threat of Islamist extremist attacks.
5,000 Syrians taken in by Britain since 2011
Full Fact reports that Britain has granted asylum to just under 5,000 Syrians in the initial decision made on their applications since 2011.
In addition, 216 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the UK.
Resettlement includes transferring refugees from Syria to the UK – whilst a person has to be in a country to claim asylum there.
0.17% of Syrian refugees offered places to resettle in Europe (asides from Germany)
Jean Claude Meignan via Getty Images
Aside from Germany, the other 27 EU nations have pledged just 6,305 places to Syrians to resettle, last year. That’s 0.17% of the number of refugees that have fled Syria.
While EU nations are likely to significantly increase the number of resettlement places this year – Germany still takes a lion’s share of those seeking refuge.
2.2% of Syrian refugees offered places to resettle this year
Amnesty International says that – by June 2015 – only 2.2% of Syrian refugees have been offered places to resettle by the international community. That’s less than 90,000.
And money is short too. “The UN’s humanitarian appeal for Syrian refugees was only 23% funded as of the 3 June,” it wrote.
145 countries signed the Refugee Convention
SuperStock via Getty Images
In 1951, 145 nations ratified the Refugee Convention governing the treatment of those fleeing persecution.
Yet just a fraction of these have offered to help so far.

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact