There are many people who state that they have a lot of interest in humane cause. However, not many are able to walk their talk the way activists like Thor Havlorssen has. Thor is a Venezuelan by birth, but like he states, he is a child of many nations. He believes that all humans should be treated with the same level of dignity. His journey to becoming the activist that he is today started with a past that has really defined him.
Thor’s Father took part in an investigation of the Medelin Castle when claims of possible money laundering emerged. He was arrested, beaten and almost murdered in the process. This was a time when Thor was a freshman at the University. He realized that he had to do something and championed the release of his father. The Amnesty International group really helped him in his quest to get his father acquitted. His father was finally released but a human rights champion had been born.Then, came the incident when his mother was shot while taking part in a peaceful protest. What did not auger well with Thor was the fact that the men that had shot and wounded his mother had at first been left free and then when they were finally prosecuted and sentenced to three years in prison, they were released after serving six months.
He himself has courted controversy on several occasions. For instance, he led a campaign in 1999 whose aim was to appeal to the relevant shareholders to assist in the creation of an anti-slave labor policy, especially by Lucent. Lucent was supposed to force China to ensure that the products they were selling were not produced through slave labor. Other initiatives that he has been part of include the FIRE movement, which stands for foundation of individual rights in education. He has his own movement that is known as the Human Rights Foundation. This has its head quarters in New York City and is one of the most influential international bodies championing for liberty and equality among people of all walks of life. Thor is a true leader in the field of human rights advocacy.
The Oslo Freedom Forum is an event growing in stature each and every year under the leadership and direction of human rights activist and film producer Thor Halvorssen. Under the leadership of Halvorssen, who organizes the Oslo Freedom Forum along with members of his own Human Rights Foundation, this event has become the must attend for members of the human rights community, entertainment industry insiders, and broadcasters; the Oslo Freedom Forum is a reflection of the main interests of Venezuelan activist Halvorssen who provides guidance and support for those looking to change public policy, free political prisoners, and advocates for democracy to be allowed for all people.
The Oslo Freedom Forum has proven such a major success over its life from its launch in 2009 that the Human Rights Foundation maintain a constantly active Website featuring the speeches and discussions from the event held annually in Norway. Thor Halvorssen has also overseen a move to bring the format of the Oslo Freedom Forum to other areas of the world to open up the discussion on human rights to the people of the entire world. In a bid to bring new people into the human rights activism community and provide an environment that allows open discussion to many Thor and the Human Rights Foundation have created the San Francisco Freedom Forum.
One of the most important aspects of his work as a human rights activist has always been to being as many young people into the community as possible for Thor Halvorssen. One of the main options for Thor Halvorssen has always been to push for students and young people to become active in activism of all kinds, which has prompted the opening of the College Freedom Forum; unlike the other versions of the Freedom Forum format this mobile version tours college campuses bringing different speakers to the events offered. Thor Halvorssen has also been a speaker as TEDTalkls events where he looks to educate others about human rights abuses across the world.
When we think of human rights in America, we oftentimes take them for granted. Very seldom do we actually consider the malpractices taking place abroad. In America, when we feel wronged or subjected to an injustice, our judicial branch intervenes. Unfortunately, this is not the case in other areas of the world. Upon traveling, you will soon find countries that don’t ensure constitutional inalienable rights to their citizens. You will see protests take place, where they would’ve been honored, had they taken place in America. Unfortunately, countries like Russia don’t give you the freedom to badmouth their president.
Fortunately, there are people such as Thor Halvorssen who put their life on the line, fighting for human rights. It is in his blood. The fight for human rights began before he was even conceived. One of his grandfathers went against Nazi Germany in their heyday. He descended from the first president of Venezuelan, who helped liberate Latin America from Spain. The Atlantic mentions that Thor had quite some impressive footsteps to follow, but the shoes of leadership fit perfectly. Since coming of age, Thor has been fighting for people around the globe, thus jeopardizing his own life.
Upon traveling to Vietnam to interview the patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam , Thor was brutalized by the authorities. Despite having a staff of twelve, his human rights foundation has brought about change to the areas that need it the most. They’ve gone to places very few activists would dare to go. For this, Thor’s activism should be applauded and remembered for generations to come. All it takes is a leader to bring reform.
Thor Halvorssen was interviewed by Fox News to discuss what his opinion was on Bernie Sanders’ stance on the desire for a Socialist country. Surprisingly enough the interviewer was taken back a bit by some of the moves and facts he presented to her which made for an interesting short but impact-filled interview. First, the interviewer asked Halvorssen to explain what the definition was of socialism. She asked this rather obvious question because in her opinion, those that were for Sanders know not what socialism actually is. To which Halvorssen retorted that it is a matter of perspective that one takes when looking forming as opinion on socialism and its effects on a country.
Halvorssen went further to say that there are many countries such as Sweden and Denmark to name just a few, that can have a democracy and still institute socialist policies. But, the difference is, you have to understand how it will work for the benefit of the people at large. He then used Venezuela as an example under the rein of Chavez. It turns out that his father was a political prisoner under Chavez and his mother, shot by the regime of this dictator. His brother is now, still in prison in fact. Once you or any family is on a blacklist to these governments the torture does not stop until the dictator is out of power–and even then, no guarantee. Thor Halvorssen then continued with another bold statement for which he seemed proud. He admitted that he contributed to Sanders’ campaign generously with–he stated “The largest sum allowable by law”. The interviewer was taken back and exclaimed with emotion “Why?!”Without hesitation he made it clear in so many words that he would much rather have someone with a higher degree of transparency than the front runner for the democrats–not mentioning Hillary’s name. His concern stems from the millions of dollars taken by her from countries that do not mirror American values. These countries “execute people for being gay” and other atrocities against the freedoms we enjoy her which was the major sentiment used by Halvorssen. Follow Halvorssen on Twitter to keep up with news and other updates.