What does a dissident do when he needs to find support for his cause? Who does he turn to in his darkest hour of need? Look no further than Thor Halvorssen.
Halvorssen’s got Human Rights running in his veins. His family is full of people fighting for the wellbeing of their fellow man. His grandfather was a Norwegian diplomat who struggled against the Nazis during World War II. His father was Venezuela’s drug czar before landing in prison after he exposed serious political corruption in Caracas. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/is-this-the-face-of-a-new-global-human-rights-movement?utm_term=.hu1rbrvoK#.sgLP3Pq98
His mother, meanwhile, once landed in the hospital after having been shot during a Human Rights protest in Venezuela.
Today, Halvorssen runs his own NGO, The Human Rights Foundation which is based in New York. His organization stages a Human Rights forum once a year in Oslo, Norway. Admirers have billed it as the Davos of the Human Rights industry.
The forum’s goal is to invite dissidents from the world’s most oppressed countries to speak in front of audiences composed of some of the wealthiest people in the world: bankers, mortgage fund brokers, etc. who are interested in philanthropy. Thor’s goal is that the speakers’ words will touch philanthropic hearts, and the speakers will receive donations for their causes. Truth be told, it’s working.
According to Crunchbase, when Thor Halvorssen isn’t organizing the forum, he’s flying around the world in his quest to help Human Rights activists on the ground. He tells of a time when he traveled to Vietnam to interview a Buddhist monk who was speaking out against the regime. The monk was under house arrest and Thor had to smuggle out a recording of the interview under the watchful eye of the Vietnamese guards.
Another instance found him in South Korea, close to the country’s highly militarized border with North Korea. North Korea is one of the most repressive regimes in the world and its people are kept boxed off from the outside world. Thor Halvorssen delights in needling the North Korean authorities.