Don’t let Thor Halvorssen’s good looks fool you. The now 40-year-old human rights activists speaks with a flawless American English accent, but he was born in Venezuela. His father was Norwegian and his mother was from South America. His parents met while his father was working for the Norwegian government in Venezuela to help the South American country fight back against drug cartels. Thor Halvorssen’s employment in the country lasted years until his political imprisonment while Thor Halvorssen was a freshman in college in the United States.
Thor Halvorssen helped set his father free from afar, but it was his involvement in this international human rights dispute that really got the ball rolling. He would be much more hands-on going forward.
In 1999, he stormed the building of Lucent Technologies. He demanded that the company stopped using slave labor in China in order to develop their products. He one. Lucent Technologies would now certify every product that they made was free of slave labor. It was his first major victory in a now extensive human rights advocacy resume.
Thor Halvorssen is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He traveled with his Human Rights Foundation to the southern border of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea. There he would hoist high-grade balloons over the demilitarized zone into North Korea. The balloons were filled with all sorts of goodies, including educational leaflets, DVD videos and cash. It was an action that put him on Kim Jong Un’s hit list click here.
The 40-year-old human rights activist is also famous for visiting a political prisoner under house arrest in Ho Chi Minh City. He interviewed the spiritual leader and recorded the interview for the world to see. When authorities showed up to take the cameras and SD cards away, he had his cameraman hide the digital information inside of his body. That’s just how committed Thor Halvorssen is to human rights.
He continues to do good work with the help of the Internet. Using viral content, he does a very good job of educating Internet users about human rights concerns around the world by piggybacking off pop-culture events.