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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

WhatsApp raises minimum age to 16 in Europe ahead of #GDPR @TechCrunch https://t.co/wcYq5KnLRl
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: How do you as a consumer get involved? See the online training: https://t.co/PYtZJTjNSF https://t.co/EmAfozu7J9
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Our Dutch member @Consumentenbond launched a platform where consumers can report products which break down prematur… https://t.co/F8keCo1gut
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
NEW BLOG: Rapid recall - getting unsafe products off the market quickly https://t.co/ze3rnviIJq #ProductRecallhttps://t.co/AHk8H9LGbk
RT @Consumers_Int: Why get involved in standards development? https://t.co/eN1pVwmM1Q https://t.co/QHKPvZKJhk
RT @Consumers_Int: Very welcome news in the battle against ticket touts. Under the new law, touts will face an unlimited fine for us… https://t.co/6LaOzGMkuy
#UNCTADeWeek: Making the case for consumer confidence in #eCommerce https://t.co/GO5jPdO8D8 https://t.co/34VAcG30Bl
RT @Consumers_Int: Today is #EarthDay! Find out how ISO standards support recycling and plastic waste recovery https://t.co/zlHVWx6ckH… https://t.co/v2FkMOMean
New @internetsociety report '#IoT security for policymakers' says consumer organisations need resources to fulfil t… https://t.co/J3XUStT9Yo
RT @Consumers_Int: About 1-in-4 cars that have a recall haven't been fixed. Stay informed and stay safe. Check out our Car Recall Trac… https://t.co/z2feKYcFSM
Facebook to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU privacy law. This move would mean that users in Africa, As… https://t.co/bdQEj63Quj
Green Action Fund 2018 is now open for applications! Visit our website to learn more and download an application fo… https://t.co/QqH5auLgSD
A study by @DataEthicsEU evaluated 14 digital services used by children. It found only 2/14 services to be using ch… https://t.co/mmG0dwtH2W
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Our Danish member Forbrugerrådet Tænk is also fighting to protect consumers against overpriced #TicketResale, which… https://t.co/T6uWV3NjDl
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Planning on going to Russia this summer for #WorldCup2018? Our member @WhichUK has issued a warning for consumers p… https://t.co/RdulFu06yD
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: #UNCTADeWeek excellent to be here working on business engagement in protecting consumers online, digital impacts in… https://t.co/yEf7esZrRo
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Very good initiative of @Consumers_Int to make the consumer voice heard at #UNCTADeWeek. Happy to have presented t… https://t.co/K3HWRVcuRs
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Internet users worldwide becoming more worried about their privacy online and many question the protections offered… https://t.co/isB0JjFCi5
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Highlighting the important role of the consumer voice in #ecommerce for #sustainabledevelopment at #UNCTADeWeek https://t.co/SDIUNdfmV5
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Research published by our members @BEUC & @vzbv highlights adequate #ConsumerProtection as a vital requirement for… https://t.co/pfQaRf9KVO
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
'Over half of online buyers worldwide already make purchases across country borders. For consumers who have interne… https://t.co/KFmUMqzoFh
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
All set for our #UNCTADeWeek session: 'Going Global: Consumer Trust in Cross-border #eCommerce'. We have some great… https://t.co/QCq6IMaUpD
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Started the Ministerial Roundtable on digital impacts of sustainable development w/ @UNCTADKituyi, Pan Sorasak of… https://t.co/1Zohgu2alY
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Ministerial Roundtable at #UNCTADeWeek with leading figures that will explore the digital impacts on Sustainable De… https://t.co/m6vRXwrsaw
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
#UNCTADeWeek: Our afternoon session, organised in partnership with @UNCTAD, will discuss the need for improved coop… https://t.co/gwPGAAwr6p
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Future growth of #eCommerce depends on rebuilding people's trust in the #Internet -- and that will depend on whethe… https://t.co/fjYD4Zy309
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
The 2018 @UNCTAD #eCommerce week kicks off on Monday. Learn more about the key themes, events and what to expect fr… https://t.co/dSyyAhLZuV
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Important data points for all of us whose vision is to create an #Internet for everyone. #inclusinonmattershttps://t.co/sLCOUwCsTF
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Some Android phone makers skip Google security updates without telling users, new research claims. https://t.co/ZrwOxQ5W5A
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int