Thor Halvorssen is a film producer, and human rights advocate with contributions in the areas of individual rights, public interest advocacy, public policy and pro-democracy advocacy. Thor Halvorssen founded the Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly gathering depicted by The Economist as being a “spectacular human-rights festival that is almost becoming a human-rights version of Davos economic forum. Thor is the principal at the Human Rights Foundation. He founded the Moving Picture Institute, and he is a patron at a Czech-based Children’s Peace forum.
Halvorssen has aired his opinions in The New York Times, National Public Radio, National Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and The Washington Post. Some of the television outlets he has appeared on include BBC News, Al-Jazeera, Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor- a Fox News Channel, CNN and HBO among others. In October 2010, Thor was a speaker at the Pennsylvania University. The New York Times describes Thor Halvorssen as an advocate for the underdog as well as the powerless.
Thor began his career as a human rights lawyer while still an adolescent in 1989 by organizing opposition to the South African apartheid. Thor has a background in Norway and Venezuela. He became fully involved in individual rights after his dad’s political imprisonment in Venezuela.
In 2004 he established a Human Rights Foundation in New York after his mom got shot during a political demonstration. The foundation is committed to freeing political prisoners as well as fostering democracy and tolerance across Latin America. Since its inception, the organization has managed to provide evidence to Truth Commissions, release seven prisoners of conscience and submit amicus briefs in international human rights lawsuits.
Thor has two published books, one on individual rights and the other one on the responsibilities of the state. He has specialized in matters regarding human trafficking, slavery, dictatorships and threats to democracy.
Thor has lectured extensively on the topic of human rights. Some of the places he has taught include the Harvard Law School, the New York’s United Nations Association, the American Enterprise Institute and the New York City’s Junto.
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