When Thor Halvorssen founded the nonpartisan, nonprofit Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in 2005, he did so to promote democracy and defend human rights as defined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Organization’s programs include advocacy campaigns, conferences, events and film production.
In 2014, the Human Rights Organization’s held a two-day hackathon in San Francisco, bringing together North Korean defectors and tech experts to figure out ways to provide an information lifeline to North Korean, where most citizens are not allowed to access the Internet. In the past, the HRF attached USB drives and pro-democracy leaflets to balloons and pushed them across the North Korean border.
The Oslo Freedom Forum is the largest event the HRF produces each year. Human rights advocates, dissidents and world leaders gather to discuss strategies and innovative methods for driving reform and amplifying dissent.
Producing the College Freedom Forum as well, the HRF puts together philanthropists, human rights activists, and other speakers who hold question and answer sessions with the audience each year at a different university.
As a film producer, Thor Halvorssen focuses on films about revolutions against dictatorships in Hungary, Estonia, Romania, Czech Republic and one futuristic dictatorship. He’s also produced a documentary film about exploited workers at the sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Halvorssen founded the Moving Picture Institute as well, which is a public charity for new filmmakers with a fresh perspective on freedom of speech.
Thor Halvorssen is a very private person. He admits to being a liberal, however, he does not discuss his own political views, preferring to concentrate on drawing attention to authoritarian regimes where political expression is forbidden and Thor of more information click here.
When we think of activists we usually conjure a picture of people throwing fake blood at someone wearing a fur coat. Most people don’t jump to the life threatening activism of people fighting against corrupt governments and risking torture or death. This kind of work requires someone with a deep history of activism and a guiding force. Thor Havlorssen is one of these unique people that has chosen to dedicate his life to fighting this kind of horrible corruption. His parents also had the same dedication to fight against this government corruption. His father was captured, tortured, and held in a Caracas jail due to his investigation in the Medellin cartel. His mother was also shot and wounded while protesting at a Venezuelan recall rally. These actions of his parents have brought him to the same career choice of carrying on the family tradition.
Thor Havlorssen started his activist group called the Human Rights Foundation in New York. Since its creation in 2005, the group has led the charge against many unjust happenings in the world. Just two are the incarcerations of a band in Russia for speaking out against Putin and visiting the government shutdown Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. These risky maneuvers to uncover the story behind what was going on ended up badly after being assaulted by police, but he was able to get the story on both. His kind of dangerous and direct reporting coupled with real action to help is what shows Havlorssen commitment to his work.
Probably one of his best works is with the surviving defectors of North Korea. He has been able to travel and meet some of the people that have escaped the terrible concentration camp that North Korea basically has become. During these interviews, he has been able to relay the horrors that happen behind the closed borders of the country. By doing this he has been able to help expose the genocide that the world has let continue within the country. These pieces, along with his other great work, have helped to reveal what is happening in our world.