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

💬Stine Müller, @TaenkKemi says: "As recommended in the Guidelines, it's time to make online marketplaces liable & r… https://t.co/jXDhGi9ksC
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
💬Isabelle Buscke (@ibuscke), our consumer advocacy Member @vzbv, adds: "#Productsafety is a concern for consumers a… https://t.co/n7HrvzXqMO
RT @Consumers_Int: Se espera que las ventas #comercioelectrónico alcancen los 4,2 billones $. A medida que aumenta la dependencia de l… https://t.co/Z6MdW2itUH
RT @Consumers_Int: As consumer advocates we what to ensure that products sold on online marketplaces are safe to consumers. The guidel… https://t.co/kaQyazNGOA
RT @Consumers_Int: Consumers International published its Guidelines for Online Product Safety today. Consumers working together to off… https://t.co/1MI9lQpmGH
💬Teresa Moreira, @UNCTAD, comments: "The combination of global instruments such as the Guidelines, plus regional an… https://t.co/73weDWmjb8
📺@Consumers_Int's global webinar on "Unlocking Online Product Safety for Consumers", brought together consumer advo… https://t.co/1jVqxBtVit
@Consumers_Int’s latest survey indicated that 40% of the 89 countries observed have no #productsafety agreements be… https://t.co/WoL2o6361B
RT @Consumers_Int: Join competition experts from #ASEAN and beyond to exchange ideas on the shift towards digital economy and risk to… https://t.co/4amLHaa3vA
💬This year, global #ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion. As consumer reliance on digital markets gr… https://t.co/Blh8yjTEGz
RT @Consumers_Int: Online marketplaces are failing to stamp out the sale of unsafe products on their sites. That's why we've worked… https://t.co/v0ClLSGL9N
RT @Consumers_Int: The Govt. wants the UK to be the safest place to be online - but online marketplaces continue to sell dangerous pro… https://t.co/6rYNXtpO6W
NEW #GUIDELINES: How can marketplace actors ensure a safe, fair, and sustainable #digital market for consumers ever… https://t.co/DdP0OtsQNV
RT @Consumers_Int: “Responsibility for the climate crisis & its solutions shouldn’t rest solely on consumers. The changes we need will… https://t.co/CyojPQtCiu
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: CUTS organized a street play and walkathon to observe #WDoR2021 at central park, Jaipur. #RoadSafetySavesLiveshttps://t.co/tituIgcXmB
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Egypt Minister of Environment @EGY_Environment commits to food on the agenda at the next COP @COP27Africa -… https://t.co/rkxVFOtr3v
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: 🆕 @RuthOpenBlue @Branca59 (@WHO) @HelenaCLeurent (@Consumers_Int) outlines six immediate ways we can make food syst… https://t.co/Xx9MIxRVFc
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
💬How can we ensure policy action that supports both the #FoodSystems and #ClimateAgenda? Join us tomorrow as our… https://t.co/6HimPS01C4
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: #WDoR2021 is quickly approaching: Join us Nov 18 at 7:30 PM IST for a global Twitter chat as advocates discuss how… https://t.co/FC99wTgyjk
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
🚨JOB ALERT🚨 We're looking for a 'Head of Accelerator' to oversee the delivery of a major digital… https://t.co/LMVnjkFMh9
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
🚨JOB ALERT🚨 Do you have a passion for empowering people with skills on consumer protection? We're looking for a 'Le… https://t.co/eNYoVbKoea
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
#COP26 - Consumer #transport choices will play an important role in securing a #netzero future🛣️. Read our latest… https://t.co/8FWm82zpjU
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
#COP26 - Investment in a functioning public and active #transport infrastructure is key to enable consumers to adop… https://t.co/C6VSW56Ib9
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
On #Transport Day at #COP26, we'll share how our Members around the 🌏 have been taking action to make #green transp… https://t.co/geFivqg5iw
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: 🚨 Accessing information on Sustainable Consumption and Production has never been easier thanks to our #NewWebsite!… https://t.co/mkIEJmAsKO
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
💬How can collaboration in a global #foodsystem address critical issues around #climatechange to unlock meaningful c… https://t.co/hhHZGESNt4
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
#COP26 - How can marketplace actors ensure innovation and investment in a more circular materials economy? 📜Introd… https://t.co/4XozBtpv4N
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
💬How can #consumers be supported to make purchasing decisions that contributes to lowering carbon emissions? On Sc… https://t.co/s6nV0T305c
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int