Thor Halvorssen has once again concluded a successful Oslo Freedom Forum. One highlight of this year’s forum included a full day of teaching on the importance of technology in the human rights movement today and far into the future. The event also included several meetings on developing effective strategies on free speech, investing in human rights and media freedom in human rights. The theme for this years meeting put on by the Human Rights Foundation was catalyst. The theme was used to remind people that it only takes a spark within one individual to get a fire going that can change the world.
A major highlight of the forum each year is the awarding of the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. This year’s winner was Nadia Muradof Yazidi. She saw her life radically changed when she was just 21 years old when she was kidnapped by ISIS in northern Iraq. After three months, she finally managed to escape and arrived in Germany. Now, she has become outspoken on the forced sexual enslavement performed by ISIS troops.
Thor Halvorssen stresses that while other groups are talking about human rights, their group is fighting the battle on many fronts around the world. Of course, with over 50 percent of the earth’s population living under despotism, there is a lot of fights to be fought. Thor says while the meetings at the forum are superb, he views the real benefit of the forum to be connecting people to each other.
Thor became an advocate for human rights quite naturally. His father was locked up in Venezuela for speaking out against the government’s money laundering scheme. His mother was shot at for speaking out against a powerful dictator. His cousin has also been jailed for speaking out against the Venezuela government. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: http://www.theatlantic.com/author/thor-halvorssen/
Thor knows no limits to his energy, according to an article published on Weekly Standard. He normally works 20 hours a day and often requires his staff to answer emails in the middle of the night. Thor Halvorssen often uses three or four phones at the same time and operates that many computers simultaneously to address human rights concerns. He describes himself as a classical liberal who does not care about the political views of others as long as they are working on human rights causes around the globe.