Growing up in a well to do family, the average person would think that Thor Halvorssen would turn his nose at the everyday, working class person and yet he is fighting for them. Born to the mother with family members including the first Venezuelan President and his father was the grandson of the man who known for bringing industries such as Dunlop to Venezuela. Thier prestige did not get the best of them either. Halvorssen’s father being thought a spy and imprisoned. Treated very poorly and beaten for seventy-four days, the father felt he was going to be murdered. Halvorssen worked hard to get his father back and once he was released, the father began working for the United Nations. Likewise, his mother was shot at a protest in 2004.
Feeling that the government of his home had gunned her down, he wrote an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Each of these moments, combined with a life of moments similar to this lead Thor Halvorssen to start several businesses with a goal of peace.In 2004 he decided to step down from his position at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and start his own company, the Human Rights Foundation. Focusing on closed societies, their goal is “to promote and protect human rights”.
Examples of some of the work that they have done are to lobby and advocate the release of prisoners such as Liu Xiaobo, a politician in China. Halvorssen was able to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in place of Xiaobo who could not make the awards ceremony.Continuing on his path to Freedom, Halvorssen created the Oslo Freedom Forum, which is said to bring together “a network of passionate advocates committed to the promotion of human rights across the globe”. With dreams and the momentum behind them, more of Thor Haslvorssen what the world needs.