Thor Halvorssen has dedicated his life to bringing about change in the way human rights are exercised around the world through his work his various groups, including his own Human Rights Foundation.
Halvorssen offers a different way of conducting human rights activism compared to his contemporaries who lately seem more concerned with the issues facing the U.S. than they do with fighting tyrants around the world; for Thor Halvorssen the personal experiences he has with the loss of human rights means he brings a sense of positive thinking to his many different roles not usually found with many activists.
In 2005 Thor tired of working in the restrictive atmosphere of human rights activism groups and made the decision to establish the Human Rights Foundation, which he located in New York where he felt the group would be free from political involvement.
Thor made the decision to limit the number of people working with the group to make sure every case they took on would have the best possible chance of success without political bias based on donations made to the group.
According to HRF, Despite the long hours Thor Halvorssen puts into his position with the Human Rights Foundation and other worthy causes he has also carved out a career as a respected Hollywood film producer; many of the subjects of the documentaries Halvorssen has produced revolve around the human rights causes of people living under Soviet rule in the mid 20th century.
The Hungarian uprising of the 1950s has been the subject of an award-winning documentary Halvorssen produced alongside stars, such as Lucy Liu and Quentin Tarantino.
The positive nature of Thor Halvorssen and the work he completes in the human rights field is shocking when his own history of family members being robbed of their human rights is explored.
The activist himself is willing to place his body on the line in a bid to bring news of political prisoners to the outside world; Halvorssen was once beaten by law enforcement officials in Vietnam after filming an interview with a religious leader who had been under house arrest for over a decade.