World Consumer Rights Day 2013: Consumer Justice Now!
‘Consumer Justice Now!’ will be the theme of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2013
Consumers International (CI) is urging its members and supporters to use the occasion to expose the very real damage caused by poor or non-existent consumer protection around the world. wcrd2013 Whether it is faulty products causing injury, utility service providers ignoring complaints, or irresponsible lending by banks, better consumer protection is always part of the solution. Rich counties, transitional economies and the developing world can all benefit from improvements in consumer protection – WCRD 2013 will be about bringing attention to areas that are desperately in need of improvement. This theme has also been chosen to coincide with the update of the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection (UNGCP). CI will be working with its members to feed in proposals on how the Guidelines can better address the concerns of today’s consumers. The UNCGP, first agreed in 1985 and last updated in 1999, is an international reference point for the consumer rights movement and CI will be supporting new provisions on issues such as financial services, energy and consumer representation. On announcing World Consumer Rights Day 2013, CI Director General Helen McCallum said: “Good consumer protection is not just about legislation, it can deliver justice, create a fairer society and even save lives. “The decision to update the UN Guidelines gives us the first opportunity in over a decade to raise the standards of consumer protection around the world. I’m sure all CI members and supporters will want to join together to make this one of the biggest World Consumer Rights Day we have ever had.” Upgrading consumer protection Securing the UNGCP was a major victory for the global consumer rights movement. However, the advance of technology and changing business practices have created many new challenges that did not apply when the UNCGP was first drafted. The internet, for example, was still many years away. The challenge is to bring the UNCGP up to date and make it relevant for today’s consumers. The UNGCP revision process will be completed in July 2014. A global day of consumer action WCRD was established in 1983 to promote the basic rights of consumers everywhere. Every year on 15 March, the global consumer movement unites around a common theme to deliver an exciting array of campaigning activities. Find out more about previous WCRD’s. WCRD 2013 will be an important opportunity for consumer organisations to draw the world’s attention to the crucial role that consumer protection plays in making societies safer and fairer, and how important it is that 21st Century consumers receive 21st Century protection. In the coming weeks and months, CI will be providing more information about how CI members can get involved. Watch this space. Consumer justice and protection is a priority programme for CI as part of the Your Rights, Our Mission | Strategy 2015.