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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

🗓️Members can apply by 1st February 2023👉https://t.co/VW5MtfqpO6 Founded by the former director of… https://t.co/a6bVU7oMZ2
⏰Anne Fransen Fund 2023 opens for applications from Consumers International Members based in low- and middle-income… https://t.co/aNLym9j49O
👩‍💻#DigitalRights: @teccheckmx (Mexico) successfully convinced @Profeco & others to include privacy rules during m… https://t.co/WSLH5ThQMm
🍃#Sustainability: @vzbv (Germany) sent a written warning to @FIFAWorldCup regarding misleading #carbon neutral clai… https://t.co/x85i9soonD
🧪#ProductSafety: @fbrtaenk (Denmark) has been campaigning for a national ban on #PFAS in #consumer products to lowe… https://t.co/iBfMO2Pbjq
@Fojucc (Chile) organised the Regional Conference on Basic Home Services: Regulatory Challenges and Protection of… https://t.co/vFC4kRT1ZK
@idec (Brazil) launched "SHOO FRAUD!" to help #consumers benefit from #BlackFriday promotions and not get pranked w… https://t.co/b67BKTUQiu
#ConsumerAwarness: As part of its campaign to change policies & practices that adversely affect #consumer interests… https://t.co/8eukK7qJMP
⏰It’s time for our #FridayRoundUp of all the news, views & impact in the world of #consumeradvocacy this week. Re… https://t.co/NC3OpUlNyD
RT @Consumers_Int: What’s the connection between food safety and food security?   #FoodSafety #CodexCAC45 https://t.co/jWgJyag4r9
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Reducing the time & cost of trade is critical in the face of rising inflation, which hits micro, small and medium-s… https://t.co/sBqwXkZd77
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
⏰Stay tuned this week to hear directly from our Next Generation Leaders at the @EU_Commission. #IPSW2022https://t.co/GPFiA4Rr4g
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Next Generation Leaders Elizabeth Iberico Robles, Nina Križnik & Akshay Yadav discussed with Ugochi Obidiegwu & Mih… https://t.co/FmRXuRK6p4
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
We joined a @UNCTAD & @EU_Commission panel, highlighting the role of consumer organisations in bridging the gap bet… https://t.co/Kapot9ZPKv
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
Met with @EU_Commission's @dreynders & Chair of @USCPSC @HoehnSaricCPSC to understand the key trends, challenges &… https://t.co/QRD6q9iFGr
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
📢Last week, @Consumers_Int's Next Generation Leaders joined @EU_Commission's #IPSW2022. 🎯At #IPSW2022 we: Co-moder… https://t.co/OXLBd1BdFm
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
RT @Consumers_Int: Things to add to your holiday to-do list: Deck the halls☑️ Trim the tree ☑️ Make sure your connected devices aren’t… https://t.co/PYyEEaEXzx
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
🧑‍🤝‍🧑#Consumers are more mindful of how their choices can positively impact #SustainableConsumption. To support co… https://t.co/VXfTUVPPlh
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
🛒As a starting point, #consumers need better, more trusted information to inform better choices. 💡For more insight… https://t.co/Uy2Fjn6ztu
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
💁More #consumers want a #sustainable lifestyle but only a small proportion are shifting due to insufficient informa… https://t.co/Dvir1jmmop
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
3⃣👩‍⚖️We join senior leaders @marcdullaert (KidsRights Foundation), May Liang (China Toy & Juvenile Products Associ… https://t.co/XoYxmNIvhq
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
2⃣We highlight the measures that must be in place to protect children including #security #privacy #transparency &… https://t.co/c71YrTRf4f
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
1⃣🤖With #SmartToys sales growing by almost 30% every year, it is paramount to address security & other harms they c… https://t.co/aZ0o5798RS
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
*The issues in the report are only starting to be recognised, and so there is some conversation on terminology. Whi… https://t.co/ip0uXKjKmx
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
6⃣Consumer advocates have a clear role to play in the discussion. We stand ready to build a better digital marketplace.
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
5⃣ We are pleased to have fed into a roundtable informing the report with Members @ConsumerReports & @Forbrukerradet.
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
4⃣ As pointed out in the report, strong consensus exists that market forces are unlikely to address the issue alone.
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
3⃣Consumers often experience psychological harm due to this practice. They expend significant time and energy on th… https://t.co/nnz4pVHJfG
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int
2⃣ They hinder consumers’ ability to make free & informed choices & can cause financial loss from ‘drip pricing’ techniques.
Consumers_Int @Consumers_Int