In 2009, Thor Halvorssen and his employees at the Human Rights Foundation decided to hold what would become known as the Oslo Freedom Forum event where political dissidents could interact with others in a bid to create partnerships and relationships that would aid their cause. Halvorssen believes many political dissidents often go unheard in the media cycle despite having the ability to shed great light on the abuses committed by governments around the world; in creating what is now an annual event, Thor Halvorssen explains he hoped to shine a light on the most difficult human rights environments in the world.
The development of the Oslo Freedom Forum included the creation of the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissident, which is awarded in the Grand Hotel in Oslo, the same hotel where the Nobel Prize has been given to those who have had only a portion of the impact on human rights abuses as those Thor Halvorssen provides a mouthpiece for at his event in Norway.Along with the awarding of the human rights activism prize the Oslo Freedom Forum gives Thor Halvorssen the chance to make sure he has the ability to bring together human rights activists, former political prisoners, and those who he feels can aid their cause. Actor Christian Bale and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales are among those who have formed working relationships with political dissidents after introductions from Halvorssen.
The work of Jimmy Wales included the production of USB flash drives containing information designed to be smuggled into North Korea and educate the citizens of their basic human rights. North Korea remains one of the main areas of focus for Thor Halvorssen as he attempts to make sure millions of North Korean’s who have no knowledge of living a free life are soon freed from the dictatorship of the Kim family.