Category Archives: Human Rights

Thor Halvorssen the Human Rights Advocate

Thor Halvorssen is a human rights supporter and film maker. Depicted by the New York Times as “a champion of the powerless and underdog, he started pushing for human rights as a teenager in 1989 in London by coordinating for opposition to South African politically-sanctioned racial segregation. Halvorssen’s experience is Norwegian and Venezuelan. He got to be distinctly included full-time in the advancement of due process and individual rights after his dad became a political detainee in Venezuela. More so, he established the New York-based Human Rights Foundation after his mom was shot amid a political protest in 2004. HRF is given to freeing political detainees and to promoting democracy and tolerance in Latin America. Since its establishing, HRF has secured the freedom of seven conscience detainees, offered Truth Commissions with evidence, provided amicus briefs in key international human rights cases, and additionally published two books on state responsibilities and human rights.

Mr. Halvorssen is the CEO and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly worldwide social affair. He was born in Venezuelan in 1976 and he is a history and political science graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he was also offered the award for securing student speech. Mr. Halvorssen is the CEO and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum a yearly world gathering and also heads FIRE (Foundation of Individual Rights in Education) a U.S. freedoms association. The organizer and CEO for human rights establishment, a universal group created in 2004 that was to champion the meaning of Human Rights. He established the group subsequent to stepping down as the leader for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Thor Halvorssen is an all around prestigious Human rights advocate with his primary commitment focus being in supporting the public rights and interests, pushing for privileges of people and advocating for common freedoms.Furthermore, Mr. Halvorssen has additionally been alluded as the Children’s Peace Movement supporter, a team situated in C-Czech republic that encourages relations amongst kids and young people in Poland, Canada, Norway and Slovakia. His affection for human rights freedom is great and in 2001 he stated that freedom of speech, opinion and expression is free and indispensable and has the deepest sense to a growing society.

 

Fighting for social justice; the story of Thor Havlorssen

Thor Havlorssen likes to describe himself as a child of many nations. He is a Venezuelan-Norwegian, but he lives and works in the country when he is not traveling the world to crusade for the rights of the less fortunate. His mother and father both have a royal heritage, and funny enough, they were also both crusaders of social justice. When Thor  Havlorssen was a child he was unfortunate enough to watch his father getting arrested when he was fighting against corruption by the Venezuelan government. This is one of the events that molded him into the person that he is today.

However, the most significant thing that happened in his childhood and made him think seriously about the plight of the weak in the society was a case where his mother and a group of other people had been holding peaceful demonstrations against the government of the day. His mother and a few others were singled out and shot with live bullets in broad daylight. At that time, when Thor was trying to bring her mother’s shooters to book, he had the naïve believe that once arrested justice would be served. First of all, it took years before the people were arrested, even though they had been seen clearly and were known. Then, when the case was conducted and concluded, they were handed a three year sentence. What was even more shocking was the fact that after serving six months of their three months sentence, they were allowed to walk.

These are the events that made the man the activist that he is today. He founded an organization that is known as The Human Rights Movement. Through the organization, he has helped countless people get out of bad humanitarian situations and get the legal help and justice that they need. He organizes a day of human rights annually and those that attend claim that it is like the Davos conference, only that at the events, the matters discussed include human rights, how they can be upheld and how to shun the blatant disregard that some countries act in relation to human rights. Thor is a name that will be on the lips of many ho crusade for social justice.

 

Thor Halvorssen: Emerging Leader For True Democracy

Thor Halvorssen comes from a family that thrives on leading and giving back, to their communities, to their country, and to many other parts of the world. This is exactly the motivation that led to Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). He lives near his Foundation in Venezuela. His family’s major league ancestor on one side of the tree was Cristóbal Mendoza, the country’s first President, from his Mother’s side.

It was from his Father’s side of his family that he is related to The Simón Bolívar, heroic liberator that fought against Spanish rule of Venezuela to success over 100 years ago. It is from this grounded and full family history that Thor has sprung into action in his own right, making his family quite proud. Recently, while on a trip to South Korea for a human rights conference he was presenting at, Thor Halvorssen talked about the need for true, free, socialist democracies that combine the best of basic human rights and government agencies that work well for the good of the people.

He is so passionate about this work, not just for the betterment of his native Venezuela, but also in other places in the world, such as North Korea, that during his time at the conference in the city of Seoul, South Korea, he was texting, emailing, and calling key people in locations in the West, which were in such a different time zone that it was very late at night there.

According to Time.com, Thor Halvorssen’s whole family has often paid the price for their activism, to the brutal dictatorship that is the modern Venezuelan government. His father, Øystein Halvorssen, was a highly-placed figure in the former government, advising the king on ways to help Norway preserve their merchant marine ships during the violent conflict of World War II. He became an ambassador, but was abducted and tortured by government goons in the 1990s. Only after intense negotiations and political arm-twisting were Thor and many others able to secure Øystein’s release.

YEONMI PARK: A VOICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Looking at this beautiful, young lady you see a face of serenity and peace, yet the scars she holds are deep inside. At 21 years old, Yeonmi Park has faced tragedy, personal loss, physical assault, and defection from her birth country.

She grew up in North Korea as a child of privilege to a father and mother that were politically connected until the father was put into a labor camp for selling metals to China. Yeonmi and her family were then destined to a life of starvation and as a prisoner’s daughter she had no future to look forward to. She and her mom were determined to leave the country to attain freedom.

They had help crossing the river into China, but once in the country they were both sold into the human trafficking market. Yeonmi was 13 years old and became the mistress of a man to save her mom and to have her father smuggled into China after his prison release. He died in China from colon cancer. She and her mom knew that they must get out of China if they were ever going to be able to live a decent life again.

On a freezing, cold night Yeonmi, her mother, and 5 other people crossed the Gobi Desert by compass finding their way in the dark and then resorting to the Northern stars to aid in finding their freedom. Yeonmi was 15 at the time.

Yeonmi has stated several times that her outlook on her parent country changed when she watched a pirated DVD of the movie Titanic. She came to realize that her country was suppressing the people and felt that the movie was her first real taste of freedom and gave her the true meaning of love. This was also her first sense of wanting to right wrongs. She felt that her country was dishonoring the human rights of its countrymen.

She and her mother were helped by missionaries to relocate to Mongolia, and then by South Korean diplomats who helped them get into Seoul, where she lives today.

Yeonmi is now an advocate for human rights for North Korea, around the globe, and for human trafficking. Defecting from North Korea and experiencing how the rest of the world lives has given her the courage to speak publicly about the oppressive conditions in North Korea. She has joined many different activist groups to help educate the world and also the people of North Korea that they need to take action to obtain their freedom.

Yeonmi Park feels that the ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, is cruel and should be punished for how he treats the people of North Korea. She was asked recently what she wants the world to know and her response was that she now had freedom. She owned herself.