March 15, 2017

World Consumer Rights Day 2017

World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and a chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

WCRD was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who gave an address to the US congress on 15 March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He said in his Congressional Statement, ‘They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are often not heard.’

He was the first world leader to do so, and the consumer movement now marks that date every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights. The first WCRD was observed on 15 March 1983, and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action.

Over time, the consumer movement has developed this vision into a set of eight basic consumer rights:

  • The right to satisfaction of basic needs – To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.

  • The right to safety – To be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life.

  • The right to be informed – To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labeling.

  • The right to choose – To be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.

  • The right to be heard – To have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.

  • The right to redress – To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.

  • The right to consumer education – To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.

  • The right to a healthy environment -To live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

The theme of WCRD 2017 is Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust.

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