Political freedom is an important aspect of the lives of many citizens around the world. Though all countries are independent to date, there are some that still practice neo-colonialism and dictatorship. This is affecting the economic development and stability of these countries due to frequent conflicts. To combat political hostility, some people have invested in strengthening the democratic process and civil society to fight for the rights of the oppressed. George Soros is a renowned philanthropic and a political activist that has contributed over $12 billion to aid in the fight against freedom of expression, social justice, transparency and accountability in government. He focuses on people who are discriminated because of their social, political and religious background. George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930; he experienced the worst form of dictatorship when the Nazi invaded the country and killed over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. He was able to survive through forging a false identity and helped more other people to acquire the fake identity to survive. He was motivated by the suffering his fellow countrymen passed through, and this led him to develop a passion for the charitable acts. Learn more on discoverthenetworks.org about George Soros.
In 1947, George Soros left Hungary and went to London to pursue his university degree at London School of Economics. He did different types of the job including working part-time as a railway porter and a waiter in a nightclub just to raise money for his studies. These are some of the efforts that have propelled him to greater success in the political activism arena. Later in 1956, George Soros migrated to the United States of America and began investing in finance which became his success pillar to date. Due to consistency in success, George Soros launched his hedge fund called Soros Fund Management in 1970. The firm has grown steadily to become one of the most notable hedge funds in the history of United States of America. As such, he has become one of the richest people owing to his investment skills he has portrayed over the years.
He has established Open Society Foundations that is one of the most recognized philanthropic bodies operating in over 100 countries globally. The firm works on the principal of ideology is the final arbiter of truth, and for society to succeed, they need freedom of expression, good governance, and accountability. George Soros started offering a scholarship to black South Africa students during the reign of apartheid. He continued expanding his scholarship programs to other parts of the world and later formed the Central European University after the fall of Berlin wall. His charitable works have been extended to supporting lawyer and paralegals in fighting for the rights of detainees without trial and fight for an equal judicial system for all.
Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/george-soros/
The freedom to travel within one’s own country, as well as the freedom to travel abroad, is often taken for granted by many. For many of those who live under the oppressive regime of Kim Jong-un though, that freedom is nonexistent. Any request to leave their area must be approved beforehand, and those requests are often denied. The punishments for disobeying these rules can be anything from beatings and forced labor to torture or imprisonment in a prison camp. However, even with the threat of such severe punishments, the conditions in North Korea so terrible that many, such as Yeonmi Park, the author of In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom which was a worldwide hit according to Amazon, still try to flee the country to escape their hardships.
Yeonmi and her mother escaped North Korea on March 31, 2007. Along with her mother, the then 13-year-old Yeonmi crossed over into China by sneaking across the frozen Yalu River in the middle of the night. Recalling the dangers she faced that night, Yeonmi said in the New York Times interview, “Someone could have shot me or I could have fallen in the frozen river – it wasn’t completely frozen at that time of year- and I don’t know how to swim.”
Even though she had escaped the hardships of North Korea, Yeonmi faced the hurdle of learning to use what many of us take for granted. The wife of the human trafficker they were staying with had to show her how to flush a toilet as well as turn on a shower. In North Korea, Yeonmi washed herself in a river or used a bucket of water. Even using toilet paper was a new experience. In North Korea, many use newspapers or old notebooks.
Eventually, Yeonmi and her family made their way to South Korea, where she finished high school. During her time there, she was asked to talk to her fellow students about her experiences in North Korea. It was this experience that she credits with allowing her to realize that she could use her voice to educate others about the horrible conditions faced by those who live in North Korea.
The Human Rights Foundation, or HRF, does pretty much exactly what the name suggests – they protect human rights around the world. The HRF was founded by Thor Halvorssen. Halvorssen has had his own struggle with protecting human rights. There are many reasons why, but the most poignant reason for him is that his father was wrongly imprisoned, and then beaten, by the Venezuelan government.
That wasn’t the only reason Thor Halvrossen feels strongly about protecting human rights. In August 2004, his mother participated in a peaceful protest in Venezuela. The government gunned the protest, and in particular, his mother. The next year, Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation.
The HRF has a main focus of protecting human rights. In particular, they aim to protect a variety of rights around the world, but a few of them include the right to acquire and/or dispose of property, the freedom of speech, the freedom of association, the right to enter and leave their country, and the due process under law. This is certainly not an all inclusive list, but it’s a good list.
While many people are aware of what the HRF does, not many are familiar with examples of their work. One example of their more recent work is the protesting of a Nicki Minaj concert in Angola. The country is ruled by the Dos Santos family. The family is known for being dictators and having refused to respect basic human rights of those living in Angola.
It is no secret that celebrities who preform in Angola are paid very well; Minaj was paid about two million US dollars. Though the Human Rights Foundation asked her to stop her concert for Christmas in Angola, she decided it would be better to go.
The Human Rights Foundation is helping everyone they can, and they’re doing a wonderful job on them. Find out more about Thor Halvorssen and The Human Rights Foundation on his Facebook page.