Coronavirus pandemic

Consumer Protection and Consumer Advocacy During the Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis Consumers International members in 100 countries called for a focus on the protection and empowerment of individuals in the marketplace and for co-ordinated strategies across nations and intergovernmental bodies to build fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economies through consumer protection.

Our joint statement called on G20 member governments to support a global co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis that protects and respects consumers in both the immediate efforts to halt the spread of the virus and the worst impacts of the economic effects, and in future strategies to rebuild and renew our social, environmental and economic systems.

Read joint statement in full

We continue to update this information page with the latest developments and insight on how consumer advocacy is addressing the challenges that arise from COVID-19. We welcome feedback, comments and information from our members and partners. Get in touch by emailing

For the latest guidance and information on COVID-19, visit the World Health Organization website Read more

Global News, Resources and guidance to fight COVID-19

See below for a collection of useful resources and actions from our global partners:

  • What impact is COVID-19 having on food security, health and nutrition, and agriculture? The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s forecast warned that global food markets will continue to face disruption and uncertainty in 2021.
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) called on airlines to respect consumers’ rights and adhere to the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection, in response to news that 4.5 million flights were cancelled globally due to lockdown restrictions.
  • UN Environment has published its latest report on the organisation's COVID-19 response plan, which highlights the importance of working with the environment to protect people.
  • The ‘global economy is on a tightrope’, according to the latest forecast from the OECD, with the biggest recession in nearly a century causing enormous damage to health, jobs and general well-being. See here for the expected implications of COVID-19 on online consumer protection.
  • In response to the crisis, standards institutions are making some standards that could be valuable in the fight against COVID-19 freely available, supporting businesses and suppliers of products such as protective gloves, medical masks and ventilators. Useful links can be found at ISO and IEC (International), CEN and CENELEC (Europe), AFNOR (France), BSI (UK), ICONTEC (Colombia), ABNT (Brazil) and SAC (China).

How our Members responded to the crisis

See below for selected examples:

Asia Pacific


North America

Latin America

As Latin American governments struggle to address the public health and economic fallout from COVID-19, consumer organisations in the region have been working tirelessly to protect the rights and essential needs of consumers. See our latest guest blog from ASPEC Peru for commentary, and see below for select actions.


  • Members in Africa continue to prioritise action against misinformation and price gouging, which is preventing many from being able to afford essential products and servicesConsumer Council of Zimbabwe is working closely with their national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure consumers receive reliable information.
  • ADECO in Cape Verde has been highlighting the importance of building a more sustainable world post-pandemic and showcasing a local examples of good environmental practices and sustainability projects on social media.
  • Food shortages and price gouging is preventing many consumers across Africa from adequate access to food products. In Rwanda, ADECOR has outlined recommendations for the Government of Rwanda to support access to nutritious food during the pandemic
  • To combat the surge in prices of certain goods in Kenya, Consumer Grassroots Association has set up a WhatsApp function for reporting retailers taking advantage of consumers, and is also sharing regular updates on social media to keep their followers informed. 


The Middle East

  • In Saudi Arabia, the Consumer Protection Association is running a social media campaign with infographics that address some of the most pressing issues for consumers during the crisis, from how to get access to essential food supplies to fake sanitary products to avoid. 
  • Price gouging is one of the biggest concerns for consumers in Oman, and many are finding it difficult to access food and health products as a result. The Public Authority for Consumer Protection is monitoring negligent practice and clamping down on any violations.   
  • COVID-19 calls for many precautions, including the use of masks and gloves - however this creates a greater problem when items are not disposed of appropriately. The Yemeni Association for Consumer Protection (YACP) is calling for standards to be set for hospitals and quarantine centres to provide equipment designated for sorting, processing and classifying waste.

Stay informed

We share regular updates on the consumer challenges we are encountering across the globe, and how consumer advocacy is supporting and protecting consumers through the crisis.

Follow us on social media, and sign up to our email services, to stay informed. 




Click below for a curated Twitter feed sharing the latest advice, insight and updates on COVID-19 from Consumers International members and partners.