Born in 1976, Thor Halvorssen is a renowned filmmaker and a human rights activist. Being selfless and having a heart to champion for human rights, he got referred by the New York Times as ‘a champion of the underdog and the powerless.’ He has a Norwegian and Venezuelan background. The human rights activism in him sparked in 1989 when he was still an adolescent. Then, he organized opposition to the South Africa’s apartheid.
Thor Halvorssen’s father once became a political prisoner in Venezuela, and this is when Thor decided to involve himself in the full-time promotion of due process and human rights. In 2014, his mother got shot in Venezuelan referendum recall peaceful protest. This impacted Mr. Thor as to start his foundation dubbed The Human Rights Foundation (HRF). This organization is dedicated to liberating political prisoners. It also promotes tolerance and democracy in the broader Latin America.
Some of the achievements of HRF so far are that it managed to secure the release of seven prisoners of conscience. It has also provided the Truth of Evidence Commissions, and also it has submitted amicus briefs in several international human rights cases. The organization has so far published two books touching on individual rights and the responsibilities of a state.
Other than HRF, Thor is the Oslo Freedom Forum’s founder and CEO. This is an annual global human rights activists gathering. It is described as ‘Spectacular human-rights festival’ by the Economist. The Economist likens it to the Davos economic forum version of human rights. Thor is also the patron of On Own Feet, which is a Prague-based Children’s Peace Movement.
As a film producer, he has produced and co-produced several films such as The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Freedom’s Fury, and many others.