Promoting Human Rights

The New York Times described Thor Halvorssen as “a champion of the underdog and the powerless.” He describes himself as a film producer and human rights advocate.

Thor Halvorssen’s movies include 2081, an adaptation of Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The movie depicts a society ruled by a brutal government determined to make everyone equal and tells of a hero whose defiance changes everything.

Halvorssen is CEO and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly global gathering that The Economist has called a “spectacular human-rights festival … on its way to becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.”

He also founded the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), based in New York, to liberate political prisoners and to promote civil and political rights worldwide. HRF has secured freedom for seven prisoners of conscience, submitted amicus briefs in international human rights cases, and published two books concerning responsibilities of the state and individual rights.

HRF’s mission is to promote and preserve freedom all over the world. It protects and promotes human rights, focusing on closed societies. The organization unites people in defense of human rights and promotion of liberal democracy.

It is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization focusing on the ideals of the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

HRF believes all people are entitled to:

  • self-determination
  • freedom of speech and expression
  • the right to worship
  • freedom of association
  • property acquisition and disposal
  • leave and enter their countries
  • due process and equal treatment under the law
  • the right to participate in their countries’ governments
  • freedom from arbitrary exile or imprisonment
  • freedom from torture and slavery
  • freedom from coercion or interference in matters of conscience.

HRF does not condone violence.

HRF promotes and defends individual liberty. It raises awareness about the nature of freedom and its vulnerability. Its programs educate about what makes a free society, why freedom is important and how to nurture, develop and sustain it.

HRF campaigns to free political prisoners, educates people in closed societies, operates individual rights seminars, produces films and other media, conducts legal analyses, and organizes events around the world.