Guidelines on Consumer Protection

United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection

Our hard fought advocacy has delivered consumer protection guidelines at the international level.

The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) act as an international reference point of the consumer movement, but with new developments in technology and business practices, there is a strong argument for revising them to ensure they are still relevant to the challenges facing consumers.

The guidelines were adopted by the UN in 1985 after 10 years of campaigning by CI. They gave important legitimacy to the principles of consumer rights and practical support and guidance for developing national consumer protection legislation.

In 1999, they were updated with a new section on sustainable consumption and production (section G) to reflect environmental concerns emerging during the 1990s.

The guidelines have been interpreted by CI and 'translated' into clear consumer rights as follows:

  • the right to the satisfaction of basic needs
  • the right to safety
  • the right to be informed
  • the right to choose
  • the right to be heard
  • the right to redress
  • the right to consumer education
  • the right to a healthy environment.

Read more about CI and consumer rights.

The UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection are available in six languages:



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"Consumers by definition, include us all," Kennedy said in 1962. His vision of consumer rights has developed into eight basic principles.
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