Thor Halvorssen: Human Rights Activist

Thor Halvorssen is a well-known human rights activists and a film creator. He is recognized as a defender of the powerless in the society. Currently, Thor Halvorssen is the chief executive officer of the Oslo Freedom Forum that usually holds global assemblies every year. In addition, he is the head of the Children’s Peace Movement; On Own Feet that is situated in Prague. He was born in Venezuela and has also lived in Norway. Halvorssen started fighting for human rights in 1989 in the United Kingdom. He began by creating resistance to the South African apartheid.

He established the Human Rights Foundation that is situated in New York subsequent to the shooting of his mother amid a political demonstration in 2004. In fact, his mother’s shooting and the imprisonment of his father is what led him to be a human right activist. Halvorssen’s father was detained at the time that he was examining the Medellin cartel for potential money laundering activities and financial institution fraud.Halvorssen’s father was tortured and almost killed within a period of seventy-four days in a Caracas prison. Halvorssen was at the forefront fighting for the freedom of his father with the assistance of Amnesty International. Later, Halvorssen’s father was released and offered a job by the United Nations.

Halvorssen’s mother was shot and injured amid a peaceful demonstration that advocated for the Venezuelan recall referendum of 2004. There were pictures of government supporters shooting the people that were against the government’s views. These government supporters were arrested and later sentenced to three years in prison.

There are very many projects that Halvorssen has been involved in such as the creation of a short movie of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron that is called 2081. This film portrays a dystorian future that as a result of the 212th Amendment to the Constitution and attentiveness of the American Handicapper General, all individuals are ultimately equal. Also, he led a movement within the Lucent Technologies yearly shareholder assembly asking for the development of an anti-slave labor regulation. This regulation required China to confirm that Lucent’s merchandises were not contaminated by slave workers.

Halvorssen is well knowledgeable on issues related to dictatorships, human trading, bondage, and intimidation to democracy. He was given talks on the topic of human rights in different areas of the world such as Harvard Law School. Moreover, he has given a talk at the United Kingdom Parliament.

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How Did The Human Rights Foundation Begin?

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.