The Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a global conference produced annually by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). Since 2009, HRF has brought together leaders from academia, advocacy, business, media, policy, philanthropy, and technology to discuss how to make the world more peaceful, prosperous, and free.
Due to travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year was the first online Oslo Freedom Forum, and was live-streamed to the world on September 24th and 25th, 2020. Despite 2020’s challenges, this event continued to unite some of the world’s leading human rights defenders to share their stories, brainstorm ways to address the most pressing human rights issues and explore the intersections between freedom, technology, artistic expression, and media. The online format allowed thousands of people from around the world to participate, hundreds of thousands to watch, and millions to hear about the event from press coverage and social media.
At the Forum, audiences heard from Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Thai opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja, Sudanese doctor and pro-democracy activist Mohamed Nagi Alassam, Iranian journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad, Cuban environmentalist and LGBTQ+ rights activist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, “Who Owns Huawei?” author and professor Christopher Balding, Gambian anti-rape activist Fatou Toufah Jallow, Oscar-winning film director Bryan Fogel, Russian investigative journalist Lyudmila Savchuk, and North Korean defector Eunhee Park.
The program concluded with a celebration of the 2020 Havel Prize laureates with a ceremony hosted by HRF chairman Garry Kasparov to honor this year’s recipients: exiled Chinese political artist Badiucao, Saudi political satirist Omar Abdulaziz, and the late Rwandan gospel musician and activist Kizito Mihigo.
Watch the full talks and performances below: