In 2005, Thor Halvorssen decided the work being completed by the main human rights activism groups was not moving in the same direction as he wished to, which prompted the Venezuelan activist to create his own Human Rights Foundation based in New York. Thor has played an important part in the work of many different human rights groups, and has now looked to make sure the work of the Human Rights Foundation is as well known as possible; Halvorssen works with a small team of just 12 people at the Human Rights Foundation and has looked to push forward his agenda of fighting tyrants by appointing former political prisoners, politicians, and successful activists to the board of the foundation.
Thor Halvorssen is a popular figure among members of the human rights activism community and has made himself known as one of the world’s leading opponents of many tyrants, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Within Russia, Thor Halvorssen has used his position as the founder of the Human Rights Foundation to ensure closed societies and the regimes who run them are brought to account for their human rights abuses; Halvorssen himself has supported a number of political prisoners in Russia, such as current Human Rights Foundation President Gary Kasparov and the popular activism group “Pussy Riot”.
Thor is an important figure for many because of his political outlook that includes the fact he sees no difference between the global governments with a conservative outlook and those from the left leaning portion of the political spectrum who commit human rights abuses. A tradition within the human rights activism community is to remain silent on the many issues facing those robbed of their human rights in socialist governed countries; for Thor Halvorssen himself there is no difference between a human rights crime committed by a conservative or socialist government in any area of the world who are negatively affecting the lives of their citizens for their own gain or needs.