Thor Halvorssen is an University of Pennsylvania graduate who advocates for human rights. He is also the founder and CEO of the Oslo Freedom Forum, and the founder of the New York’s Human Rights Foundation. There are numerous circumstances that led to Halvorssen’s choice to be a voice for human rights. His parents, Hilda Mendoza Denham and Thor Halvorssen Hellum, were the influences that prompted this innovative speaker.
In 1993 was when his father was arrested and put in prison under charges for money laundering and bank fraud. At this time, his father was investigating Venezuela’s Medellin Cartel. His father experienced torture and beatings during his seventy four days of incarceration, but in the end was released and deemed innocent. Halvorssen led the campaign for his father’s release. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/thor-halvorssen#/entity
His mother was shot in an incident at a peaceful protest in 2004 in New York for the Venezuelan Recall Referendum of 2004. Halvorseen himself wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal of the shooting involving his mother’s shooting.
According to BuzzFeed, after his father was imprisoned, Thor Halvorssen became a full time promoter of due process and individual rights. He also specify in matters of slavery, dictatorships, threats to democracy, and human trafficking. He began putting together an opposition to South Africa apartheid in London of 1989 as the start of his activism for human rights.
He founded the New York Human Rights Foundation after the shooting with his mother. That foundation helps advance matters on democracy and tolerance in Latin America, as well as helping political prisoners. There has been at least seven individuals released from incarceration due to the Human Rights Foundation since their founding. On Own Feet is another peace movement Halvorssen is involved in.
Besides his history and activism in human rights, Halvorssen is also the founder of Moving Picture Institute. He is an known film producer. He’s helped produce a number of films such as The Sugar Babies, Freedom’s Fury, and Hammer & Tickle.