Fostering a passion for ridding the world of dictators that subjugate their people, Thor Halvorssen has made it his life’s work to expose the atrocities inflicted upon innocent people throughout the world. Aware since childhood of the injustices in his own country of Venezuela, Mr. Halvorssen has been an active advocate of human rights worldwide.
Born in 1976 to Thor Halvorssen Hellum, a former Ambassador of Anti-Narcotics Affairs, and to Hilda Mendoza, Thor’s family was directly affected by their corrupt government. During the 1980’s, Thor’s father became involved in fighting human rights violations that were taking place in Central America. In 1993, while attending the University of Pennsylvania, Thor learned that his father had been unlawfully imprisoned for “terrorism” while he was investigating the actions of a drug cartel. With the help of Amnesty International, Thor fought for his father’s release and, after seventy four days, his father was cleared of all the charges. In addition to his father’s activism, his mother’s equally shared passion found her at an anti-Chavez event which turned violent and left her wounded.
Thor has continued to work with a variety of organizations that target human rights violators. Based on the volume of articles he has written, his knowledge is expansive and thorough. Arguably, his biggest contribution to protecting human rights is the founding of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in 2005. Not interested in political affiliations, HRF consists of people who share a passion for personal liberties and freedom. Having assisted in the release of several political prisoners, HRF works tirelessly to expose the dictators that abuse their people. Annually, HRF hosts the Oslo Freedom Forum. The event draws leaders and activists from around the world. It’s aim? To continue the fight for peace throughout the world.