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Coronavirus pandemic

Consumer Protection and Consumer Advocacy During the Pandemic

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

We are calling 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 will  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 media@consint.org

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

Global guidance to fight COVID-19

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

How are our members supporting and protecting consumers through this crisis? See below for selected examples:

Asia Pacific

Europe

  • InfoCons Romania is calling on the Government of Romania to do more to ensure that consumers are supported with refund claims for services that are no longer being delivered during lockdown, from travel, to educational courses, and events. They are also alerting consumers when masks in circulation do not national health and safety requirements. 
  • In France, following UFC Que-Chosir’s notice to 57 airlines demanding that they do more to respect the rights of their customers, it is initiating legal action against 20 airlines for ‘obstructing the right reimbursement for passengers on cancelled flights’, despite EU guidance calling on airlines to respect this right.

North America

Latin America

Africa

  • 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
  • Members are reporting many issues emerging due to COVID-19, with serious concerns over misinformation and businesses failing to follow safety advice. Consumer Council of Zimbabwe is working closely with their national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure consumers receive reliable information. See here for the WHO's latest guidance
  • 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.   
  • To combat misinformation in Yemen during the pandemic, YACP is using its social media channels to share verified health advice from reputable sources such as the WHO.  

Stay informed

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be sharing regular updates on the consumer challenges we are encountering across the globe, and how consumer advocacy is supporting and protecting consumers through this crisis. Follow us on social media, and sign up to our email services, to stay informed. 

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

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