Cameron Conaway, an award-winning author and former MMA fighter who once trained under Renzo Gracie, is now fighting an epic battle that reaches far beyond the cage, the battle to end human trafficking. More than 27 million men, women and children are held as slaves, and UNICEF reports that each year nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. Conaway has made it his mission to become their voice as he travels throughout Asia and visits human trafficking conferences and refuge shelters.
Human trafficking is a truly global crime. It is not only happening in places like Bangkok, even Los Angeles is a hub. Conaway has done extensive research on sexual and labor exploitation practices in the U.S. and abroad and has seen its effects first hand.
According to Conaway, “When you look into the eyes of a 5-year-old Bangladeshi boy who now has HIV as a result of being used as a sex slave, or of a handicapped 11-year-old Thai girl who has lived in the back of a van for years as part of a mobile brothel, or even of the father who was sold the fake promise of a better job and then beaten into slavery – these moments leave imprints on your being, they make you realize what’s worth fighting for.”
Conaway, who is deemed by many as the “MMA fighter who fights human trafficking,” has participated in many human trafficking conferences including the 2012 “Slavery No More” Conference in Los Angeles, the 2012 “Not For Sale” Asia Pacific Forum in the Philippines, and he was the only American at the 2012 Human Trafficking Roundtable in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Conaway was also invited to speak at the 2012 International Symposium on Combating Human Trafficking in Bandung, Indonesia due to his advocacy work.
Conaway went on to say, “We need penal reform, more sustainable business models and education, deeper collaborations, more psychologists and reintegration specialists…the list goes on. People have referred to me as the fighter who fights human trafficking, but the true warriors are the ones out there battling this each day. The more involved I become, the more I see how my MMA training was preparation for this battle.”
Conaway has spoken extensively on the topic of human trafficking in villages throughout Bangladesh and has expressed in several media interviews that his fight is now outside of the cage and for the attainment of basic human rights for the world’s most vulnerable populations.
The accomplished author also garners attention for the cause through his writing. Conaway has written many features on the topic and was even given rare access to the dangerous shipbreaking yards of Chittagong for an essay titled “Of Ships and Men,” which was published in July by The Good Men Project.
Cameron Conaway – mixed martial artist, human rights activist and acclaimed author, has come to be known as the “Warrior Poet.” He shares intimate details of his life’s struggles both in and out of the cage in his compelling autobiography “Caged: Memoirs of a Cage Fighting Poet” and has championed many causes through his writing.
“Caged: Memoirs of a Cage Fighting Poet” has received numerous awards including the “2012 Reviewers Choice Award” and can be purchased at Amazon.com. Famed MMA broadcaster Mauro Ranallo is the voice behind the audio version of the book, which will be released in the coming months. For more information on Cameron Conaway, his work and his causes, please visit www.cameronconaway.com.