In the realm of human right’s activism, there are few more overlooked than the founder of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen. Born in Venezuela on March 9, 1976, Thor started political advocacy at the age of 13 by organizing against South African apartheid. However, his real efforts into human rights began at age 18 when his father became a political prisoner. At the age of 23, Thor became involved in a campaign to prevent Lucent Technologies from buying products made with slave labor. This came after the discovery that several camps in China were using slave labor to make products.
Thor’s biggest contribution to human rights started in 2004 after his mother was shot and wounded by the Venezuelan security force. He announced the creation of the New York-based human rights organization, The Human Rights Foundation. Early on, the HRF was involved in several advocacy campaigns and some of those were in Thor’s country of origin, Venezuela. In 2007, They launched a campaign to free a prisoner named Francisco Usón. Thor also opposed human violations in Uganda, China, North Korea, and several others. Thor also managed to create a media firestorm when they exposed payments from foreign dictators to several U.S. celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, and Hilary Swank.
However, Thor Halvorssen does not only engage in political and human rights activism in through his papers and the HRF; He is also a fairly accomplished producer. He is the producer of the 2006 film, Hammer & Tickle. The film was a documentary about jokes and humor were used in the Soviet Union as a form of exposing the truth of the Soviet regime as well as poke fun at it. He then went on to produce The Singing Revolution, a documentary about the people of Estonia seeking to escape soviet occupation.
Thor Halvorssen also produced The Sugar Babies. The 2007 film the decries the human rights issues in the in the Dominican Republic sugar industry. His new announcement for The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress shows a dedication to his film career and his political activism.