Category Archives: Film Producer

Halvorssen’s Human Rights Legacy

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Descendant of Venezuela’s first president, Thor Halvorssen hails from a family of prominent political leaders and advocates.Thor Halvorssen is the president of the Human Rights Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally and promotes the defense of human rights and promoting liberal democracy around the world.

Halvorssen’s thoughts on international policy and affairs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Nation, and the National Journal.

Among other things, Halvorssen specializes in dictatorships, human trafficking, democracy, and modern day slavery. He is also a lecturer and has spoken at Harvard University and the UK Parliament.

Most recently of Halvorssen’s endeavours include the Oslo Freedom Forum. Founded in 2009, the Oslo Freedom Forum is global gathering of human rights advocates which takes place in Oslo annually . Wired Magazine stated that “if the global human-rights movement were to create its own unified representative body, it would look something like this.”

In 1993 while studying at the University of Pennsylvania, his father was falsely charged and detained where he was tortured for 74 days. He began a campaign to release his father, which gained the momentum it needed with the backing of Amnesty International. In 2004 government security forces wounded his mother while exercising her right to peacefully assemble and protest.

These events have all had a profound effect on Halvorssen’s philosophy. Halvorssen is not a detached and wealthy philanthropist but an individual genuinely dedicated to the very human nature of his field. Upholding democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights guaranteed by international law are at the heart of his work and his day-to-day life.

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Personal Experience Pushes The Work of Human Rights Activist Thor Halvorssen

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For the majority of people in the world the image of human rights activists can often be a negative one filled with preconceptions about worthy ideas often not backed up by the correct actions. Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation has been looking to change this image of the activism community with a major push to bring his own experiences to the work he completes that is often based in some of the world’s most dangerous countries.

Thor has never been afraid to take on the major figures in business and government after seeing the strength of character shown by members of his own family in the face of terrible experiences. Both parents of the Venezuelan born University of Pennsylvania graduate saw their human rights stripped from them because of their actions in their home country; Thor’s father was given the role of drug czar and uncovered corruption throughout the law enforcement community before he was imprisoned and tortured in a bid to seal his silence on the matter. Human rights issues continued for the Halvorssen family when Thor’s mother took part in an protest against the rule of Venezuela’s socialist leader Hugo Chavez, which resulted in her being shot and injured by government agents.

Thor Halvorssen has since continued the family tradition of fighting for what is right no matter what kind of harm the individual faces, which dates back to his ancestor who controlled the Norwegian Merchant Navy during World War II fighting to keep the fleet from falling into the hands of occupying Nazi forces. The work Thor has completed with the Human Rights Foundation has made him one of the most respected members of the human rights activism community because of his commitment to areas of the world often ignored because they are difficult to access. In the past Thor Halvorssen has entered countries and used drones to bring information and vital equipment to dissidents in countries like North Korea that are difficult to access without a great sense of ingenuity.