We use cookies to track usage and preferences

Privacy policy

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

RT @Consumers_Int: Guest blog from @edmpirg on what the #equifaxbreach teaches us about US privacy and data laws & lessons for the EU: https://t.co/6XGlJ5lBia
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Planning to apply for #AnneFransenFund 2018? There's still time! https://t.co/9Xx3x9GLUg (Deadline: Tuesday 31st Oc… https://t.co/2BOLkOQRlR
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
BLOG: How can standards make cities safer, cleaner and ‘smarter’ places to live? https://t.co/cPrllriyvR #SmartCityhttps://t.co/zLZzUB8ssl
Scrapping roaming & termination charges will make it cheaper for +500m Africans to roam on their mobile networks https://t.co/ODNrzUKQPc
'Connected tech could become mainstream before we understand the risks & implications' Download our 2017 #IoT revie… https://t.co/ikpMY956f3
This shop owner's showdown with Google has led to new #ConsumerProtection law in Columbia https://t.co/KDy0misiSJ
RT @Consumers_Int: We've picked our 60 life-changing products, now it's over to you. Which product from 2017 would you add?… https://t.co/6JfzgvksUF
RT @Consumers_Int: 8(!) consumer groups in the US are jointly filing a complaint to the @FTC on breaches to #security & #privacy in sm… https://t.co/6X2WxjYvlp
#WatchOut: Why the smartwatches featured in @Forbrukerradet research are a huge threat to consumer safety & privacy https://t.co/17Q6opHOV1
RT @Consumers_Int: #WatchOut research highlights need for businesses to build in security at design stage, not as an afterthought https://t.co/hYFtht2M2w #IoT
Testing our Trust: Download our 2017 review of #InternetOfThings & implications for consumers… https://t.co/HL4XBULZTm
#WatchOut! New @Forbrukerradet research reveals disturbing security flaws in #IoT smartwatches for children… https://t.co/IxVjr4bhO0
RT @Consumers_Int: Important: Security flaws in SeTracker app could affect a lot of GPS watches for kids, in many countries. #WatchOuthttps://t.co/VGRbXd5Zn6
'A robot could be looking after your savings': 10 things consumers need to know about #FinTechhttps://t.co/4okW7qZr1o
RT @Consumers_Int: Over 200,000 people have signed our petition to hold Equifax accountable, strengthen data protections @SenateBanking @BankingGOP
Most wifi networks are vulnerable to hacking, according to security expert https://t.co/ONVxn8ZkbW #WPA2 #OnlineSecurity
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: FACTSHEET | Big data in finance, big worry? #BigData #fintech https://t.co/Apj5qKzwgu https://t.co/MdSsvIqldI
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
This week our Advocacy Director @jmacmullan is in Sudan - at the Arab Standardization & Consumer's Protection Forum… https://t.co/CxhRYoakAN
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Our blog for #WorldStandardsDay: Smart cities for smart consumers https://t.co/b6oPyLnHqV #Standardshttps://t.co/83gRNbPiyt
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: It’s #worldstandardsday! This year we focus on how standards are essential to build smart cities https://t.co/Zub587dHEI
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
What can be done to make products last longer & reduce waste? Learn more in @10YFP #ConsumerInformation report… https://t.co/6ymIqSyd6r
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: There are more UK cyber-victims than originally estimated. https://t.co/ZPv7RJzE6b
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Weekly #ProductSafety report is released! Which unsafe equipment, clothes & toys was reported in the EU last week?… https://t.co/w3oEyGPiqw
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: It's almost #worldstandardsday 🎊🎊. Do you remember the winning video entry for the @WSDcontest? Watch it now https://t.co/eyy75lyEgt
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Google to disable touch function on Home Mini after gadget listened in on users https://t.co/ojeVWYDQlm #Digital #Privacy
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: 20 years on and it's still all eyes on Winston. https://t.co/HHyd0rsGsk
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
It's time to face the facts! This infographic reveals the global costs if we don't take urgent action to tackle obe… https://t.co/lS3inlhmDa
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
This #WorldObesityDay we are calling on all governments to increase investment in tackling #obesity https://t.co/Hfa4PZS00i
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Lots of events taking place around the world for #WorldObesityDay. Take a look! https://t.co/ZjT8yfBj0I
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int