Thor Halvorssen – A Brief Historical Background of the Human Rights Foundation Founder
Portrayed as the champion of the powerless and underdog by the New York Times, Thor Halvorssen is a film producer as well as a renowned human rights advocate. The 39 years old Halvorssen is a half-cast, between a Venezuelan and a Norwegian. Although he was born and raised in Caracas, Halvorssen speaks fluent English—without accent. His descendants are reputable heads of states and swashbucklers. His paternal grandfather, Øystein, was the consul in Venezuela for the Norwegian king during World War II. Halvorssen’s mother, on the other hand, is a descendant of Cristóbal Mendoza, the first president of Venezuela.
How Halvorssen Became a Human Rights Advocate
It was not until 1989 that the renowned activist started advocating for human rights. It started in 1989 when he, as an adolescent, organized an opposition to the South African apartheid in London. Later on, in 2005, Thor Halvorssen formed the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), which was based in New York. Halvorssen’s knowledge on the human rights field is not solely theoretical; there are several occurrences that motivated him to take this bold step.
Another one of his relatives, Hugo Chávez who perpetually challenged the Chavista regime, is currently serving a jail term in Venezuela as a political prisoner.
The formation of the HRF is among the milestone achievements of this human rights advocate. At the time of its formation, the main objectives of the HRF were to promote democracy and tolerance in Latin America as well as to liberate political prisoners. Over the years, the foundation has been able to liberate about seven prisoners of conscience. Additionally, the organization has managed to provide amicus briefs for the major international human rights related cases and submit evidence to various Truth Commissions across the globe.
Thor Halvorssen is also the CEO and founder of Oslo Freedom Forum, a popular global human-rights festival. He is also the Patron of the Children’s Peace Movement, which is based in Prague.
This Reddit thread contains additional information about Thor’s activism and appearance on Fox News.