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On 15 March 1962, President John F Kennedy sent a special message to the US Congress in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so, and the consumer movement now marks 15 March, with World Consumer Rights Day, every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. 

President Kennedy said: 'Consumers include us all. 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.'

The Issue

More than thirty years ago, Consumers International started to mark 15 March as World Consumer Rights Day, and since then the date is celebrated throughout the world as a reminder for countries to observe and enforce consumer rights and needs.

In July 2017, national consumer protection ministries and agencies reached a historic agreement on a proposal for the United Nations (UN) to make World Consumer Protection Week an official UN observance. If the proposal is adopted at the UN General Assembly later this year, Consumers International will continue to mark the 15 March as World Consumer Rights Day, within the UN recognised World Consumer Protection Week. UN recognition would be an important step towards meeting the challenge that President Kennedy set out more than 50 years ago.

Many consumers still face real challenges in their everyday lives, including a lack of access or unsafe goods and services, and unfair practices. Raising awareness of consumer rights amongst consumers, businesses and governments is an important step in helping to put consumer protection in place.

We believe that official UN recognition of World Consumer Protection Week can play a crucial part in this, helping to put consumer rights on the map of even more organisations, governments, companies and media outlets. It will help to raise awareness by engaging more people, in more activities, in more countries.

Past Themes

A truly international event, World Consumer Rights Day raises awareness of existing rights and shines a light on areas where there is inadequate consumer protection in place. Previous themes have included campaigns on:

  • basic rights
  • safe food
  • digital
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
  • trade
  • public utilities
  • healthy diets
  • financial services
  • phone rights

Celebrated by the majority of countries around the world, activities marking the day have included media stunts, public meetings, marches, social media campaigns and the publication of test results, surveys and opinion pieces.

Learn more

What we and our members are doing:

We’re asking our members to contact their Regional Networker for more information on how to get involved in the campaign for UN recognition of World Consumer Protection Week. Formal recognition will make it easier for members to get media coverage of their activities and help to secure the participation of senior figures from government and business. It will also help to introduce consumer rights to new groups and help them realise the contribution that consumer rights can make to fairer and stronger economies, poverty reduction, improved health and safety and many other issues that affect people today. 

If you don't know them already you can find details of your regional networker here

Latest News

Governments take first step towards an official UN World Consumer Protection Week

7th July 2017

National consumer protection ministries and agencies have reached agreement on a proposal to make World Consumer Protection Week an official UN observance.

Read more

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Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
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Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
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REPORT: This publication from our partner @UNCTAD outlines the role #ConsumerProtection can play in promoting incl… https://t.co/SRKFOLTuuN
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Kenyan government to create 11-member task force that will explore benefits and challenges associated with blockcha… https://t.co/cuP3eyRjpj
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If you missed any of yesterday's live blog coverage of #WCRD2018, you can view it all here https://t.co/217S5OHHZo.… https://t.co/7zMfZavoXj
@elpoderdelc Thank you for your closing message, @elpoderdelc - it was the perfect way to end another successful #WorldConsumerRightsDay!
@SeriRTV Thanks for sending in your photos, @SeriRTV! We shared more of them on our #WCRD2018 live blog https://t.co/217S5OZjnY
From Suriname to South Korea, we'd like to thank everyone for their inspirational support for… https://t.co/tvrly1mXZY
To mark #WorldConsumerRightsDay, our UK member @WhichUK has got 3 top tips to help consumers stay safe when shoppin… https://t.co/95pQyGKaVU
RT @Consumers_Int: Today is #WorldConsumerRightsDay. Join @Consumers_Int in calling for fairer digital marketplaces ⚖️💻… https://t.co/tDrhd4TFRW
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#WorldConsumerRightsDay blog: Why we're calling for fairer digital marketplaces https://t.co/ha6veEycwV… https://t.co/IbAgucASiH
RT @Consumers_Int: #WorldConsumerRightsDay provides the opportunity to reflect on the role of #ConsumerProtection in our efforts to en… https://t.co/mZ0WIITiCC
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: A #betterdigitalworld starts with every single user. The EU has launched several initiatives to empower people & cr… https://t.co/hjFVAvZTmz
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: 🎉ANEC is celebrating #WorldConsumerRightsDay🎉 Find out how ANEC’s influence in #standardisation makes consumers’ li… https://t.co/LCOTdRRnPB
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Today is #WorldConsumerRightsDay. Did you know that consumers tend to trust #peerplatform markets more than convent… https://t.co/T5g3GByR9j
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
In Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea and beyond, our members are doing incredible work to promote and prote… https://t.co/LtBDKqJ6o6
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Our survey shows that there is potential for improvement in Sweden! Join us on March 15 in calling for fairer and s… https://t.co/cUwZP5qoGu
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
'Consumers by definition, include us all' (John F. Kennedy, 1962). Learn more about the importance of JFK's vision… https://t.co/x9GCibWZ9z
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: The lifetime of mobile phones, coffee makers or dishwashers can be much shorter than you might expect. To mark… https://t.co/37DAcygPbh
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Today is #WorldConsumerRightsDay! You now enjoy new EU rules on payment services which: 💳 prohibit additional cha… https://t.co/UmTsUamfvb
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Today is World Consumer Rights Day! A great opportunity to celebrate the strength of our global movement. This year… https://t.co/X1XvyDBwLP
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Today is #WorldConsumerRightsDay! +110 consumer organisations in over 80 countries are calling for fairer digital m… https://t.co/Kqja4V1iFb
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: This year I’m proud to announce we’ve brought together 114 members in over 80 countries to call for a… https://t.co/fTRMp3ENIH
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
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Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int