A Job Worth Doing
The business of keeping dictators nervous comes with its own set of difficulties. You need to expose them, encourage citizens to fight them, and make sure you are safe in your own skin the entire time.
When you succeed an entire nation may change that way it lives. When you fail the consequences are severe and sometimes deadly. According to Crunchbase, For Thor Halvorssen, the president of The Human Rights Foundation, this is essentially an inborn trait. For centuries his family has fought oppressive regimes and championed freedom. Looking back you can even find examples of human rights advocates such as the revolutionary Simon Bolivar.
The Early Steps
From the time Halvorssen graduated from college until now he has made it prerogative to fight for human rights. Early on Halvorssen focused on fighting against Lucent Technologies and its use of suspicious Chinese labor camps in Laogai. In these camps workers were subject to conditions that essentially rendered them slaves.
Thanks to the work of Halvorssen he was able to convince Lucent Technologies to sign a contract that prevents them from using or allowing the use of slave labor at any production facility they may have. He continued similar efforts until the mid 2000s when Halvorssen realized he needed an organization that would allow him to consolidate efforts to promote human rights. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | LinkedIn
Taking The Lead
2004 was one of the most important years in the life of Thor Halvorssen Mendoza. It was the year he lost his mother ina tragic shooting, but it was also the year he founded the Human Rights Foundation.
Currently this foundation serves as the centerpiece of his activism around the world. There are 15 campaigns launched across the world serving to counter the corruption and authoritarianism rampant in closed societies.
Due to the special circumstances of his life Halvorssen has focused on Venezuela as a particularly heinous example of autocracy. The Caracas Nine project focuses on the sacrifices made by those who dare to stand against the dictators of Venezuela. These 9 individuals have experienced discrimination, arrests, and even torture at the hands of the Venezuelan government.
Although his family members are not included in this list their experiences still strike close to home for him. Halvorssen cannot visit his home country without risking a similar fate. At this point in his life he must remain an expatriate for both his cause and his safety.
Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://humanrightsfoundation.org/about/board-and-international-council/thor-halvorssen