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VENUE: Committee Room 3, House of Lords, Houses of Parliament, SW1A 0AA
SPEAKER: Thor Halvorssen, President and CEO, Human Rights Foundation
To attend please visit: http://bit.ly/2eKLLfX
Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in an unfree or only partly free country. Approximately 2.7 billion people live under dictatorship everywhere from Cuba to Saudi Arabia to North Korea. Statistically speaking, political oppression impacts more people than extremism, epidemics, famine, natural disasters, lack of clean water and extreme poverty combined. Dictatorship is at the root of most of the world’s major challenges, including war, economic stagnation, terror and Europe’s refugee crisis. And yet there is barely any coordinated international campaign to address the prevalence of dictatorships and their influence.
By kind invitation of The Rt Hon. the Lord Trimble, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with Thor Halvorssen, the President and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation. Halvorssen will argue that Western governments often turn a blind eye, tolerate, work with, or even support various dictators. The United Nations is partially run by dictators, especially on the Human Rights Council, where some of the planet’s worst human rights violators hold court. Meanwhile, the world’s most famous human rights groups devote only a small percentage of their total output towards combatting dictatorships. Given all of this there is a great need to support the civil society groups and persecuted journalists who are actually doing the heavy lifting in authoritarian societies across the globe.
Thor Halvorssen is a Venezuelan-born human rights advocate and film producer. He began advocating for human rights as an adolescent in 1989 in London by organizing opposition to South African apartheid. Described by the New York Times as a “champion of the underdog and the powerless,” he is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), an organization devoted to liberating political prisoners, promoting tolerance and exposing dictatorships. Thor became involved full-time in the promotion of due process and individual rights after his father became a political prisoner in Venezuela. He created HRF after his mother was shot during a political protest in Venezuela in 2004. He is founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual global gathering described by The Economist as a “human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.” He is the Patron of the Czech-based Children’s Peace Movement: On Own Feet. Thor has lectured at universities across the world on matters of liberty, and his opinions and views have appeared in numerous venues, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Washington Post, National Review, National Public Radio, TIME, the Daily Telegraph, New York Post, and GQ, as well as televised outlets such as Al Jazeera, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, HBO, and many others.