Thor Halvorssen is the founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation located in New York. He is of Norwegian and Venezuelan descent. His passion for human rights and ones individual liberties have taken precedence over everything else for him. His family’s history has been one filled with great tragedy and it provides a better understanding where his passion for humanity stems from. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/is-this-the-face-of-a-new-global-human-rights-movement?utm_term=.hu1rbrvoK#.sgLP3Pq98
Halvorssen’s father was murdered in a Caracas prison, after bravely exposing Venezuela’s government corruption. His mother was also murdered in a protest against Hugo Chavez, the former president of Venezuela. His cousin currently stands as a political prisoner behind the walls of the Venezuelan prison system. He has a great love of people and most of all a love for those that stand up against tyranny.
Thor is also a film producer as well as a humanitarian. His films have focused on public policy, public interest, advocacy and the rights and civil liberties of individuals. His production and film work have also come with a price.
In 2010, as he and a cameraman were in the city of Ho Chi Minh to interview a patriarch of of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, the authorities badly beat him as recompense for sneaking in and interviewing the man that had spent 28 years under house arrest and whose church had been banned. He was placed under arrest and later released.
Thor has also founded the Oslo Freedom Forum. It is gathering that occurs very year and many of his peers have praised as a Human Rights festival. He is also a Patron of the Children’s Peace movement “On Own Feet”, which is based in the Czech Republic. His life and work continues to be a testament to his passion for humans and their freedoms.
The Human Rights Foundation is a small team of 12 and their work extends the globe. Their goal is to bring awareness to authoritarianism and political prisoners, as much as to advocate for the rights often taken away from humans in closed societies.