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CNN Freedom Project: Every Day in Cambodia

Aired February 9, 2014 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon. FREEDOM PROJECT: Everybody in Cambodia begins -- "EVERY DAY IN CAMBODIA" begins right now.

MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS & ACTIVIST: My name is Mira Sorvino. I'm an actress and I'm an activist in the fight against modern day slavery.

I've joined the CNN FREEDOM PROJECT in its search for the truth and for solutions. What we found will shock you and break your heart. It broke mine. But don't look away. It's important that you see what's happening "EVERY DAY IN CAMBODIA.


SORVINO (voice over): If you were not born here, if you did not come from this place, you'd never know it exists.

DON BREWSTER, AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSION: There is no map, there is no sign.

SORVINO: Unless you are the worst kind of criminal, the kind who preys on children.

BREWSTER: It is known around the world as a place where pedophiles come to get little girls.

SORVINO: Every day in Cambodia children are trafficked for sex, but the very youngest come from this one community just outside the capital of Phnom Penh.

BREWSTER: Now Svay Pak is actually the epicenter for child sex trafficking in Cambodia.

SORVINO: I've come to find out why and to try to help make it stop.

(on camera): Hi.

BREWSTER: Yes how are you?

SORVINO: Good, how are you?

BREWSTER: Good. Thanks -- thanks for coming.

SORVINO (voice over): I'm joining forces with Don Brewster, a husband, a father, a grandfather and staunch abolitionist. Don came here from the U.S. on a mission trip a few years ago. He had just seen a news report about child trafficking in Svay Pak. Brothels were shutdown children were rescued and Don wanted to help rehabilitate them back into the community. He was told the area was all cleaned up except it wasn't.

BREWSTER: So I'm just driving down the motor down and I'm looking and I say, oh good, it's all cleaned up, right it's good. And I got down to the end here and when I got to the end I was just turning my motor around and actually came out of this place right here.

And so he came up to me and he said, "You want a young girl?" And I said, again, I thought I was an investigator all of a sudden and so I said, yes I would like two. And he said, ok, come with me. And I was pretty bold at first because I had our Cambodian director of our aftercare home with me and I'm feeling pretty confident. We get to a spot and they tell our director he can't go with me. I have to go by myself.

Well, now there is just me and this one kid, but pretty soon there was four of them and just me. And I'm thinking what are you doing? I had $2 on me. And like, I'm not in a very good position, but they took me to a house back over there and there was over 60 little girls in this house. And I mean we're talking eight to 12 years, maybe max 12 years old.

So they said, well, you pick the girls you want. So I picked two little girls. And then I'm thinking, I don't know what I'm going to do. And so -- so I came up with this story and said, I'm here with a bunch of Americans, there's 18 of us, and we all want three or four girls at least. And they said, no problem. I said, well, today we want them. He said no problem. If you want 200 today, you can have 200 today. And so I said, well, I'll go get my friends and we'll be right back -- right. And he said, oh, no, they go you take care of those two girls. You pay me and take care of those two right now and then you go get your friends.

And that's when I realized that I was not an investigator. Frankly, I just prayed like, how am I getting out of this mess? And I think God gave it to me. I said, you know the Cambodian guy I'm with, he's no good, he'll go to the cops and I have to get rid of him and I'll come back with my friends, they bought it and they let me go.

SORVINO (on camera): Did you come back?

BREWSTER: I went to police and of NGOs to do investigations and stuff and like and so I came I've got this big secret nobody knows about, and they said, yes we know it.

SORVINO (voice over): So Don and his wife Bridget made a life- changing decision.

BREWSTER: And we recognize the need that if we're going to really fight this, there needs to be somebody here 24/7.

SORVINO: They moved to Svay Pak indefinitely. Today his nonprofit Agape International Mission feeds, shelters and rehabilitates survivors. BREWSTER: When we came here three years ago and began to live here, 100 percent of the kids between eight and 12 were being trafficked, 100 percent.

SORVINO (on camera): 100 percent? Every child born was eventually sold to sexual trafficking?

BREWSTER: And we didn't believe it until we saw a van load after van load of kids being brought in.

SORVINO (voice over): Much has changed since then, but much hasn't. Don says the children of Svay Pak are still sold for sex every day. It's just gone underground. Many are sold as virgins by their own parents. As we walk along the dirt roads, as Don points out a table of men playing cards. He says they are there every day.

BREWSTER: Instead of caring for their family or working, they sit there and gamble and drink all day because they traffic kids, including their own.

SORVINO (on camera): These guys do.

BREWSTER: Yes, these guys right here right.

SORVINO: Their own, they traffic their own children?

BREWSTER: Their own kids as well as others, not just their own. See -- see what happens when the light comes?

SORVINO: Yes, yes roaches scatter when the light comes. That's what happens, the roaches and the rats scatter when the light comes.


SORVINO: I just want to yell at them, but I don't know what's going to happen if I yell at them.

BREWSTER: Well, you know what the truth is?


BREWSTER: They think they are untouchable because they have been.

SORVINO: Do you think any of them speak English?

BREWSTER: No, no, most of them speak Vietnamese.

SORVINO (voice over): I knew they probably wouldn't understand me and that it wouldn't make any difference at all, but I felt compelled to say something as futile as it might be.

(on camera): I just want them to know that the world is watching right now. I just want them to know that there's -- there's a tally being taken.

Yes, we are filming. It's not ok to sell children. It's not ok to sell children to pedophiles. It's not ok. And the world is watching. Protect your children. Do not hurt your children. Protect them. Oh, God, I can't deal with it. I can't deal with the reality of it.

BREWSTER: You know, you have to look in the kids' eyes.

SORVINO: Yes I know, I know. I know. Jesus Christ oh my God. I'm sorry, I feel like I'm going to cry every moment of this entire experience. I've been so afraid of this experience. I've been, like, you know, because I've met a lot of survivors but I haven't been in the environment where it's happening every day, every day. That they would sell their own children, I mean when I think how much I love my own children, like, if they do it to their own children, they would do it to any children.


SORVINO (voice over): How desperate must a mother be to allow her child to be harmed in such a horrific way?

Soon I'll be meeting some of these young survivors. Don says they want to share their stories with me. They want the world to know what's happening here and I can't wait to meet them.




SORVINO (voice over): Kieu has a smile that lights up her face. It also hides the sadness in her young eyes.

BREWSTER: We believe she's 14 and she started to be trafficked when she was 12.

SORVINO: She doesn't know exactly when she was born. In her family, birthdays were not celebrated. In Svay Pak most families scrape by on less than a dollar a day. And most girls feel an obligation to work to help support their family. That's how her nightmare began. She says a woman came to see her mother offering a job for Kieu.

KIEU: (inaudible) I did not know what the job was and whether it was good for me. I had no idea what I'll do. But now I know the job was not good for me.

SORVINO: The job was to sell her virginity, a big business in Svay Pak.

BREWSTER: Svay Pak is known for virgin sales and (inaudible) bed and sex. And so a virgin sale can be anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 -- I mean we're not talking $20.

SORVINO (on camera): How much money did the lady say that your mom could get if you went there?

KIEU: $1,500. SORVINO (voice over): Kieu says she was taken to a doctor to verify her virginity.

KIEU: First they took me to the hospital for a blood test. The next day examined me again and then they made me have sex with the man. And he said if I did not agree to suck it he would not sleep with me. So I left the room but he called me back and I had sex with him.

SORVINO: She says the man kept her in his hotel room for two days.

(on camera): How did it feel after you left the man?

KIEU: I felt very heartbroken.

SORVINO (voice over): Broken, she returned home to Svay Pak only to find out her mother had sold her again.

BREWSTER: Once this girl has been sold, her virginity, as a prepubescent she's pretty by the standard of whatever country comes in, and prepubescent it's like $400 to have sex with her. And how many times in a day even a girl might be forced to have sex, really be raped by someone. There's lots of dollars involved in this.

SORVINO: Kieu says her mother sent her to work in a brothel in northern Cambodia far from home.

KIEU: She asked me to work for one month to pay off all the debts and then she would stop making me do this. And then she said I would be able to come back home to Svay Pak. The held me like I was in prison. I didn't about my future at all because I knew I had to do this.

SORVINO (on camera): Did you run away from the place?

KIEU: Yes.

SORVINO: She knew she couldn't go home, so she went to a friend for help. Her friend took her to Don. She's been recovering at the Agape Restoration Center in Phnom Penh ever since. Don says she's not safe at home.

BREWSTER: Her mother is just mean, mean spirited, I've really had to come down hard threatening her to leave Kieu alone. Like she wasn't afraid to say to me, "I want her to go to that brothel." I mean it wasn't like she was saying "I want her back with me, so I'm going to care for her, don't worry I would never do that." She just said, "I want her back to go to that brothel. I want the money."

SORVINO: You're a beautiful, beautiful girl. You have a beautiful soul. I'm so sorry, so sorry.

All along the Cambodian shore these makeshift boathouses are home to thousands of undocumented Vietnamese people. They are poor, desperate and extremely vulnerable to the traffickers who come here looking for little girls.

This is where we found Kieu's mother. Like most who live here she and her husband raised fish in a net under their floating house. When they couldn't make enough money selling fish, they took out a small loan with a high interest rate. It quickly grew. NEOUNG, MOTHER OF KIEU: At first my husband borrowed $200 dollars. Then it increased to $500, then a thousand. And now it's almost $10,000; $9,000 something because of interest.

SORVINO: That's when the trafficker came calling. She was paid just $500 for Kieu's virginity, not the $1,500 she was promised -- only a drop in the bucket toward a massive debt that she'll never be able to pay off.

NEOUNG: Selling my daughter was heartbreaking but what can I say? I can't go back in time. I can't give her back her virginity so what can I do?

I love my kids, I would do anything for them. I know that I did wrong so I feel regret about it. It was because of the debt that's why I had to sell my child.

SORVINO: Regret and guilt, but that won't erase what her little girl went through.

NEOUNG: I know my daughter is sad. I know when she hangs out with her friends she is embarrassed and she feels shame but I didn't have a choice. There is no bigger problem than money. All I could think about was finding the money to pay off the debt so the creditors would stop cursing me.

SORVINO: And as I was about to find out, Kieu and her mother are not alone.



SORVINO: Like Kieu, Sephak and Toha are also survivors of sex trafficking in Svay Pak, sold as virgins by their own mothers. Holding hands for support, they sat with me and courageously shared their stories. Sephak said she was 13 when it happened.

Who did you mother take you to? Who did you have to go and be with?

SEPHAK: He was a Chinese national but I did not know who he was.

SORVINO: And he knew that you were as young as you are? Did he pay your mother a lot of money?

SEPHAK: He paid a lot of money but I didn't know how much. I just know the money that was handed to my mom was $800.

SORVINO: What did your mom say she was going to use the money for?

SEPHAK: She took the money to pay back a debt.

SORVINO: Like Kieu, Sephak says she was taken to a hospital ahead of time, examined and issued a certificate to confirm she was a virgin. BREWSTER: The low level of trafficker in Svay Pak takes the girls to a hospital in Phnom Penh, one specific hospital, where they receive a certificate of virginity. And then this certificate of virginity is used in order to get those big dollars from the pedophiles that come into Cambodia.

SEPHAK: The hospital was very big and the doctor was a woman.

BREWSTER: Based on their description it was a nice clinic, and it makes sense because it's foreign pedophiles, foreign sex tourists that are buying these girls, and they want true certification. So they're going to want it from a substantial place.

SORVINO: Sephak said she was then delivered to a Chinese man at a Phnom Penh hotel. He kept her there for three nights.

SEPHAK: When I had sex with him, I felt empty inside. I hurt and I felt very weak. I felt sick. When I was in the room alone, when he went away, I cried. But I thought if I ran away it would cause trouble so I decided to stay. It was very difficult.

I thought about why I was doing this and why my mom did this to me.

SORVINO: This is Sephak's mother. She and Kieu's mother live near each over and their stories are much the same. She and her husband are also fish farmers, and when a storm ripped through their floating house, the fish got away. She had no money to feed her four children so she took out a loan.

ANN, MOTHER OF SEPHAK: The first time I only borrowed a few hundred. (inaudible) piled up and I borrowed money from other people. And then it became a lot. I borrowed about a thousand dollars altogether. But I didn't have the money to pay the interest and it keeps growing. And now I have to beg people to pay the original debt.

SORVINO: When the debt grew to $5,000, she says she felt trapped. That's when a woman came with promises of big money for her daughter's virginity.

ANN: (inaudible) they threatened to report me to the authorities. I told Sephak the next morning and I keep promise to pay them. (inaudible).

SORVINO: In the end, the big money never materialized.

ANN: (inaudible) I regret and wish that I could go back in time. I feel bad for her. If I could go back I wouldn't be as bad. I will regret that I let her go.

SORVINO: She says she now understands the pain and heartache her daughter felt and still feels.

ANN: I feel bad for my daughter, but I don't know what to do.

BREWSTER: Toha is an amazing young woman. She has a bravery that really be -- I don't think the outside world understands.

SORVINO: When Toha heard there was a client for virgins, she didn't know what that meant. How old were you when your mother wanted to sell your virginity?

TOHA: 14 years old. -- when I had to go because my family was poor so I had to go. I just thought that the opportunity to bring money for the family --

SORVINO: You wanted to be a good daughter.

Like the others, Toha says she was checked at a hospital, issued a certificate of virginity and delivered to a man. He kept her there for three nights and it didn't end there.

TOHA: I was there for a while, for about two weeks. Then the man called me again. I didn't go, but my mom kept telling me to go all the time. I was sad. I went to the bathroom and cut my arms. I cut my wrists because I wanted to kill myself. When I was getting to do it my friend broke down the door. My mom didn't know. After that I decided to go work at the brothel.

SORVINO: Even though you knew at the brothel you are going to have to sleep with other men?

TOHA: Yes, because I have to take care of my family. I have to go.

SORVINO: So how long, how long did you stay at that brothel?

TOHA: More than 20 days.

SORVINO: She managed to get her hands on a phone and called her friend for help. Her friend called Don who traveled to southern Cambodia to rescue Toha from the brothel.

BRESTER: When she first came, she went in our secure after care center because it was not just the bad guys who wanted to get her, frankly her mother wanted to get her to send her back to the brothel.

I can't imagine what it feels like to have your mother sell you, to have your mother waiting in the car while she gets money for you to be raped. How can that feel to a kid? Not that she was stolen from her mother. Her mother gave the keys to the people to rape her. I mean, it's -- yes.

SORVINO: The weather matched the mood on the journey to meet Toha's mother. Like the others, Toha's parents are fish farmers, also originally from Vietnam.

NGAO, MOTHER OF TOHA: Here we don't have money to live on. We are so poor we have to (inaudible) children. So I decided to bring my second oldest daughter to sell her virginity.

SORVINO (voice-over): Toha's father was sick at the time and in the hospital. He had no idea what his wife had done until it was too late. He says he was very hurt. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking foreign language)

SORVINO: Toha is one of eight children. Don worries about her little brothers and sisters, but Toha's mother says she won't ever sell another child. (speaking foreign language)

Three girls, three mothers, three strikingly similar stories. They all describe an organized system for the sale of virginity. With the information provided by these three survivors, police now have a clear picture of how the underground sale of virgins operates. But they lack the tools to put a stop to it.

(on camera): I want to fight as hard as I can to help you and other people like you. Thank you so much. You are very brave and very, very brave.


COHEN (voice-over): Tonight Don is on a mission.

DON BREWSTER, AGAPE INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS: There's three, four or five girls there.

SORVINO: He's looking for underage girls working in karaoke clubs. They are called KTVs.

BREWSTER: Don, they are all friends with brothels. It doesn't take us long to find girls who look far younger than they claim, but building a case against a brothel that employs children is very difficult because the girls are vulnerable and afraid. They often lie about their age or how they got here. That's why undercover investigations are so important to generate evidence not solely based on witness testimony. But incredibly Cambodia's anti-trafficking law does not allow police to conduct undercover surveillance.

BREWSTER: There was a change in the law and they interpret it that they can't use undercover. Like they do in drug trafficking.

SORVINO: That's one of the reasons the number of arrests in human trafficking cases is dropping in Cambodia.

BREWSTER: Without being able to do undercover surveillance, here's the reality of what has to happen, your only way of getting somebody is a victim witness, which means a girl has to be trafficked or virginity sold, so she has to be raped. Then you pray that she gets rescued. If she gets rescued, then you pray she will have the courage to be a witness against the perpetrators. That's the only way for it to work.

SORVINO: Over the next two days, I set out to meet with two high- ranking officials at the forefront of Cambodia's battle against human trafficking. General Pol Phe They is in charge of Cambodia's anti human trafficking police task force. He's been in office less than a year and already he's frustrated.

GEN. POL PHE THEY, CAMBODIA NATIONAL POLICE (through translator): We are still limited in prosecuting these violations because first we lack the expertise. And second we lack the technical equipment. Sometimes we see a violation but we can't collect the evidence we need to prosecute the offender.

SORVINO: Cho Bun Eng is the secretary of state for the interior ministry. She oversees the nation's anti-trafficking mandate and has been working on getting the law changed.

CHO BUN ENG, CAMBODIA INTERIOR MINISTER: We will discuss about that, you know, because we plan to discuss among the justice ministries and also the judge prosecutor and also police, work together to see how we can do it.

COHEN (on camera): I've met with victims around the world and I'll say to you that I met with children yesterday that broke my heart. And they don't have the time to wait for these discussions. You really must act - you need to save their lives. Every moment you wait, another child is being brutalized and raped in a brothel right now around us, they are suffering immensely.


SORVINO: So I beg you, as a mother, you do it. I believe you have this power.

CHO BUN ENG: We have to practice the law. We have to be careful.

SORVINO: Yes, I know, but it's not against your law even. It's a question of your interpretation.

CHO BUN ENG: Because of the law, it's not really our way of practice without any document, you know?


CHO BUN ENG: That's why we have to do it.

SORVINO: I know.

CHO BUN ENG: We wait for a long time already, we just went for a few days later.

SORVINO: Well, if you're telling me a few days, I'm OK with that. If it's a few years, I'm not okay with it.

CHO BUN ENG: I can tell you that we need to do it, but also we have to find a way how to do it.

COHEN (voice-over): Nothing happens quickly in Cambodia. And Don is not prepared to wait. In one of the KTVs we visited, he quietly showed this girl a video on his iPhone, a recording made by one of the girls living in his center, a survivor.

The message encourages her escape and tells her how to do it. As we left, my heart ached for that little girl. Imaging a night and the life she had ahead of her. There are 13 KTVs along the road to Svay Pak. Don says two years ago there were none, and he says they could not operate without the help of police officers who take bribes to look the other way.

When I spoke to the girls at Don's center, I asked them about that.

(on camera): When you were at the brothel, were there ever policemen that came in that knew about the brothel or that were working somehow with the brothel owner?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking foreign language).

SORVINO: Did you see the police taking money from the brothel owners while you were there

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

SORVINO: So the police informed them when there was going to be a raid.

(voice-over): Don says that's what happened the first time he tried to rescue Toha.

BREWSTER: Toha was trapped in this brothel in (INAUDIBLE) and she gets ahold of a phone, she knows about us, so she calls. And says, can you come and get us? And we're able to work with the trafficking police and they secure a warrant to do a raid. However, before they get there, there's a tipoff, the brothel owner finds out, moves all the girls, and when the anti-trafficking police get there, there's no one to rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking foreign language).

SORVINO: Even the general acknowledges corruption does exist among police ranks.

POL PHE THEY (through translator): There are two likely scenarios in Svay Pak. One, the brothel owner may intimidate a child by saying they have connections with the police. Two, police in that area probably do have connections with the brothel owners.

COHEN (on camera): What would you say about how to confront this kind of corruption that is allowing these people to get away with the rape of little girls?

POL PHE THEY (through translator): We must educate the police about their willingness to combat this activity. In the past there's been some. It's not like it doesn't exist, but we are resolving it gradually. We now have an anti-corruption unit and we have anti- corruption laws. When they find corruption, they will punish them accordingly.

BREWSTER: I think he wants to make an impact on this, but I think he's in a tough position right now because the corruption is at pretty high levels.

COHEN (voice-over): Toha doesn't think much about politics and police corruption, but she does want her day in court. After Don rescued her from the brothel, he called police who arrested the brothel managers, a husband and wife team. They are in jail awaiting trial.

BREWSTER: Their conviction and actually staying in prison will do tons to have other girls be brave to speak up, because they want to see success thus far while the girls have been brave to speak up given testimony, given details, intel that we were able to corroborate, nothing's happened with it. And if we start having just a small level of success, more and more girls will speak up. We've only got towards the investigative judge who has said, yes, we're going to go to trial. And we've been waiting several months to get to trial.

COHEN (on camera): How do you feel?

(voice-over): I asked Toha how she feels knowing it was her testimony to police that put the brothel managers behind bars?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking foreign language).

COHEN (on camera): I feel like you have very powerful friends here that are going to protect you and keep you safe like Don and his family and everybody who works here.

(voice-over): Here Toha is safe from predators. She's healing. She's growing. And she's building a future in a most unique way. One strand at a time.


BREWSTER: Everything we do is for four purposes, prevent child sex trafficking, rescue victims, restore victims and equip them to be reintegrated as loving, healthy young women back in the Cambodian society.

SORVINO: Don provides each survivor in his care with food, shelter and love. But he says that's not enough for the long term.

BREWSTER: When that time comes to reintegrate her, she's going to go into a very difficult circumstance. With us she's loved 24/7 unconditionally, and now she's going into a community that says she's trash. That believes she's trash. So the truth is from the cultural perspective, she is a piece of trash. The only way to change that is if they have a good job where they can support themselves and help support their family.

SORVINO: So, is this your factory?

BREWSTER: This is it.

COHEN (voice-over): Don opened this factory in August 2012. The entire workforce is made up of survivors.

BREWSTER: So these jobs that we're able to provide in our factories are far than just a place of employment, they are a place that restore honor to a girl, not just in the eyes of the girl, not just in the eyes of the people at the factory, but within the whole community they become people of honor again. All these girls that you see here in this floor and upstairs, they are all survivors of sex trafficking. SORVINO: Upstairs the girls are making intricately woven bracelet, each one hand-signed. Making money is not the number one goal.

BREWSTER: I'm more concerned with making a difference than making money, because the products we sell out of our factory cost more, right? Because we pay three to four times the wages in any other factory, they work five days a week, they get health insurance, they get childcare, they get free education. So the product is much more expensive, but the result of purchasing one is the freedom, love and empowerment of the young woman.

SORVINO: Making the bracelets is one thing, selling them is entirely another.

BREWSTER: It takes really someone who is going to distribute the product because you're not going to be able to make enough money selling the product here. In order to support the girls at the level and provide the benefits, so you need someone in the western country that will say, "I care more about making a difference than money," and Ken Petersen of Apricot Land (INAUDIBLE) is one of those guys.

KEN PETERSEN, APRICOT LAND: Hey, Mira, thanks so much for coming to Cambodia, we are so excited that you're here.

SORVINO: Oh, thank you. I'm very honored to be here and to learn more about the great work that you guys are doing.

(voice-over): Ken owns a chain of fashion boutiques across the United States. He created a brand called Three Strands and sell them at his stores.

PETERSEN: I have a chain of Apricot Lane stores and I just told my franchise system, I said, you know, we're blessed with our growth, but we got to be more about than just opening stores and making money. I said I don't know what that is, I said but if we can come together, we can make a difference and then I went back to my system and said, would you guys support something? It's a difficult subject to take a retail chain, breast cancer awareness, no problem. Sex trafficking -

SORVINO: Despite the difficult subject matter, Ken says all of the stores within his franchise system embraced the concept.

PETERSEN: This is about creating jobs for these girls, providing hope for their future, dignity and self-esteem, helping them to reintegrate back into the communities. We want them to develop skills and be able to grow and expand from that.

SORVINO: Don says a good education is just as important as a good job. Most of these girls stopped going to school after they were trafficked. Some have never been at all. So Don opened a school in Svay Pak.

BREWSTER: We have a couple thousand kids who want to go to school when we got 350 places right now. We're hoping to buy that, knock it down and put up another school.

SORVINO: Today is an important day in Svay Pak.

BREWSTER: We just, actually, you can see up this way, the green building. We're just finishing renovations. We bought that and that's a community care home for girls that have been rescued and it has a capacity of 36 and we already got more than that on the waiting list to go in. So later today, that house Will actually be filled with 36 rescue survivors who are being healed. And many of them employed at the factory.

SORVINO: Is it opening today?

BREWSTER: It's opening today.

SORVINO: Can we be there for that?



(voice-over): It is perhaps most exciting for (INAUDIBLE). With the new home opening, she is leaving the shelter in Phnom Penh. She can finally go home to Svay Pak.

BREWSTER: She is very excited about going back.

SORVINO: It's great.


SORVINO (voice-over): It's moving day. Carrying boxes and bags full of their belongings the girls proudly march down the dirt road in Svay Pak.

BREWSTER: OK. Here we go, girls.

SORVINO: Sixteen girls in Don's program are moving into their new home.

BREWSTER: The girls who came into the new house, you know, home makeover, the TV show. It was kind of like that. Like they go in every room and they're screaming. It is so beautiful and they're jumping on the beds laughing and singing.

PETERSEN: After that unbelievable high, I went to the very open air top of the roof top. And these girls all came out and they spontaneously broke out into joy and laughter and they grabbed hands and they formed the circle and they started singing.

And I lost it.

Look at the difference that's being made here in Svay Pak, Cambodia. Look where they've been and where they are today. And it was just overwhelming for me. It took me out.

BREWSTER: There is not enough money in the world to replace the joy that we got to be a small part of that day. SORVINO (voice-over): It is finally judgment day for the brothel managers who kept Toha under lock and key for 22 days. Don is optimistic. He says the judge was visibly moved when Toha testified.

BREWSTER: He understood the reality of what happened to Toha in 22 days. Because looking at it from the outside, you could say, wow, just 22 days she was rescued from sex trafficking. The truth is, in those 22 days, she was raped 198 times.

SORVINO: The verdict for the brothel manager and his wife, three years in prison. Though not the maximum, it's a start. They were also ordered to pay fees to the court and fines to their victims.

BREWSTER: It will mean a lot to Toha. It would be an you believable amount if she gets the $5,000 that she was awarded but more than that, it is just the idea that she was brave. She stood up and now people are going to pay the price and girls will be protected. So it's not just that she was rescued. Now that brothel is shut down. There is nothing going on there and other girls have been freed. So it will be a big deal for her.

SORVINO: Toha wants to speak out. She wants her voice to be heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

SORVINO: The girls all want to be advocates in the fight against sex trafficking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

SORVINO (on camera): What do you hope for your future? What do you want to do when you're a little older?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

SORVINO (voice-over): Don has high hopes for the girls' future. And high expectations for Svay Pak as well. But his work is far from done. He has just committed to live here for another eight years.

BREWSTER: Frankly, sometimes we're frustrated that more hasn't been done. Because if there is one girl being abused, it is too many, right? But over the last year and a half, we got more and more people in the village that are actually protecting their own children. Who have been brave enough to stand up and be witnesses against the perpetrators. And it is really, that's an unbelievable transformation.