In the Western world we have a tendency to solely focus on legislations. Many countries have for example signed UN's Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for example both the Philippines and Vietnam. However, what I have learned from my experiences in the Philippines working with survivors is that the legislations might work in the capitals of less developed countries, but not in the country as a whole.
Many times creating laws are not the problem, it is implementing them.
That is what makes a difference, not formal words on papers if we want to rescue people from violations of human rights.The story that scarred me the most and made me realize the size of the corruption of the police and people with power was shared with me by one of the women I met in the Philippines. Since it was so excruciating I won't write about the whole story but enough so the real life of her community and society can be shared. In short, the women I worked with had experienced every mother's and parents worst nightmare, having her very young child molested. This was done by the husband of the friend she was staying at since she had been forced to leave her home due to a similar matter. As a single mother she prosecuted the perpetrator. Even though there are clear legislations about such matters in the Philippines the perpetrator was never convicted, as a result of that his brother was in politics and "took care of it". When she saw my despair after hearing this, since it was utterly unimaginable from my perspective based on where I was raised, she just sighed and explained how she had the opposite perspective based on where she had been raised. It was not an unusual or peculiar outcome for her experiences, but a very painful.
The legislations are clear, however they are not implemented where they are sometimes the most needed which leaves people in misery without justice. There needs to be a substantial increase in the awareness of this in order to help people with something many of us take for granted, our human rights and justice. Through that we can inspire and support more local persons and grassroots movements to actually implement the legislations where they are just seen as words on papers.
Promote legislations are just the beginning of what we can do to help, the real think is to make sure that they are implemented to actually accomplish a difference.