World Consumer Rights Day is annually observed across the globe on 15th March to create awareness about consumer rights and needs. The day offers a platform to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected.
- The day highlights the importance of consumer rights in protecting consumers against market abuses and social injustices.
World Consumer Rights Day is annually coordinated by Consumers International, a membership organization for consumer groups around the world.
The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2022 is “Fair Digital Finance”, which addresses the issues faced by consumers in digital finance.
- The 2022 theme was selected by the Membership of Consumers International – 200 consumer groups in 100 countries.
i.World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by Former United States (US) President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights.
ii.The consumer movement, World Consumer Rights Day, was first marked on 15th March 1983 and since then the day is annually observed on 15th March.
Note: On 9th April 1985, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, broad rules for consumer protection, in its resolution 39/85.
Fair Digital Finance Forum:
i.On the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day 2022, Consumers International is hosting the first-ever Fair Digital Finance Forum, March 14-18.
ii.The forum will highlight the most pressing challenges in the digital finance environment and explore how we shape fair digital finance for the future.
i.By 2024, digital banking consumers are expected to exceed 3.6 billion.
ii.In the developing world, the proportion of account owners sending and receiving payments digitally has increased from 57% in 2014 to 70% in 2017.
Observance in India:
i.On 15th March 2022, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, inaugurated the event organised as a part of World Consumer Rights Day.
ii.The Department of Consumer Affairs has also launched a virtual exhibition on 75 years of scientific and organisational journey of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSLs) and The National Test House (NTH).
India Organises “Consumer Empowerment Week” – 14th to 20th March 2022
Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution(MoCAF&PD), Government of India is organising “Consumer Empowerment Week” from 14th to 20th March 2022 to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
The celebrations of Consumer Empowerment Week coincide with the observance of World Consumer Rights Day on 15th March 2022.
- India annually celebrates the Bharatiya Grahak Diwas or National Consumer Day on 24th December.
Events of Consumer Empowerment Week 14th-20th March 2022:
i.On 14th March 2022(opening day of the week), BIS, Indian Institute of Legal Metrology (IILM) Ranchi, National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF), NTH and RRSLs, field units of organizations under the Department of Consumer Affairs conducted rural outreach programmes in 75 villages.
- The programme aims to create awareness about the initiatives like National Consumer Helpline (NCH), features of Consumer Protection Act 2019, BIS standards, details to be seen on pre-packaged commodities, ISI marked goods, Hallmarked gold jewellery and proper use of weights and measures.
ii.The department organised a virtual conference on e-commerce on 16-17, March 2022.
BIS, NTH and RRSL have planned several activities from 14-20, March 2022.
About Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution(MoCAF&PD):
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal(Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State(MoS)– Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency- Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh); Ashwini Kumar Choubey(Constituency- Buxar, Bihar)
Department of Consumer Affairs is one of the two Departments under MoCAF&PD.