Team Donahue Photography to Document Human Trafficking Through Photographs

April 14th 2014 - Fresno, CA -  Human trafficking is an alarming, but seldom discussed, social issue. It is the second largest criminal industry next to drug trafficking. More than 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year.

Though human trafficking, a primary threat to freedom, has received media attention lately, it is becoming more prevalent. With up to 27 million enslaved worldwide and January recently proclaimed as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, there is no doubt that the availability of freedom is a pressing social issue.

In order to increase the awareness of people about human trafficking, Team Donahue Photography has launched a Kickstarter campaign to document the nuances of human trafficking in a series of photographs. Documentary and photographer couple Thomas and Jennifer Donahue aims to travel to Tanzania, South Africa and Thailand to capture the different aspects of human trafficking and compile these photographs in a photobook that will enable others to have a glimpse into the effects of human trafficking.

Their project compares how freedom is defined and experienced across borders. With the belief that culture is individually as well as communally experienced, the couple aims to show that freedom is much more than the right to “life, liberty and security of person” as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states. Their work furthers a view of freedom, not as an inalienable right, but as a state and cause worth supporting.

Human rights issues are especially prevalent in the regions they are traveling to. Thailand is home to over 2.8 million sex workers, 800,000 of whom are minors. Tanzania is listed on the US Department of State's Tier 2 human rights watch list. Similarly, South Africa is commonly regarded as the main country of destination for trafficked persons in the region and over 30,000 children are currently prostituted in the country.

The couple is also planning to interview numerous people to determine how people in different cultures define freedom. Prior to the interviews, they will spend time familiarizing themselves with the communities by volunteering at shelters and rehabilitation centers. By doing this, they are assured that they will not just be emphasizing the concept of freedom, but will be deeply engaging with the communities they are visiting.

In sharing the stories and images of women who operate their own businesses, or girls who are able to continue their schooling, alongside the narrative of oppression and exploitation, Defining Freedom will call viewers to support, rather than pity, marginalized populations.

For more information about the project that Thomas and Jennifer Donahue are promoting, visit


Thomas and Jennifer Donahue

1612 Fulton St.

Fresno, CA 93721

Team Donahue Photography


Contact person: Jennifer Donahue, co-owner