Thor Halvorssen is a renown champion for human rights and film production. He is the founder of Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual event where human rights activists, business leaders, and other leaders around the world converge to deliberate and share their experiences. The discussions involve strategies that can enhance human freedom, which is pivotal to the realization of full human potential. He also serves as the president and CEO of Human Rights Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded in the year 2005 with an agenda to protect and promote human rights across the globe.
Through his foundation, Thor Halvorssen works passionately towards achieving universal human rights freedom. It’s for this reason that he has immensely condemned the acts of countries that have continued to oppress their citizens. His efforts of fighting for the rights of others have not been received warmly by these oppressive countries; in some instances, he has ended up in prison or suffered torture. Governments and individuals have also derailed Thor’s efforts with constant threats. Halvorssen acknowledges that threats do not weaken his activism; he rather views them as an indicator that he is performing his duties.
As the CEO of Human Rights Foundation, Halvorssen has relentlessly launched numerous human rights advocacy campaigns. Notably, the foundation mounted pressure on Chinese authorities to free Liu Xiaobo whose imprisonment was politically instigated. Halvorssen, has constantly faulted president Yoweri Museveni of Uganda for pushing the enactment of laws supporting death penalty for homosexuals. Also, Halvorssen turned the spotlight to Augusto Pinochet and president Ramzan Kadyrov for abusing human rights. His advocacy campaigns have also been felt in Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba, and Bolivia.
Apart from working as a director of Human Rights Foundation, Thor also doubles up as a film producer. He has been extensively involved in the production of films that are mainly inclined to his passion for human rights. Among the many films he has produced include: “Hammer & Tickle”, “Freedom’s Fury” (with a story that revolves around a dictatorship rebellion in Hungary), “The Singing Revolution”, “Indoctrinate U”, “The Sugar Babies”, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, and many others. Most of these films have won him several awards.