World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is annually observed across the globe on March 15 to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs. The day offers a chance to emphasise the importance of protecting consumers, promoting their rights, and ensuring that they have access to safe and affordable products and services.
- Annually, World Consumer Rights Day is coordinated by Consumers International, a membership organisation for consumer groups around the world.
World Consumer Rights Day 2023 is observed on 15th March 2023 under the theme “Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions”.
- The Membership of Consumers International, which consists of 200 consumer organisations in 100 countries, chose the theme for WCRD 2023.
i. WCRD was inspired by John F Kennedy, the former United States (US) President, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights.
ii. World Consumer Rights Day was 1st marked on 15th March 1983 and has been annually observed on March 15.
Basic Consumer Rights by John F. Kennedy:
- The right to safety. the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard are the basic consumer rights outlined by John F. Kennedy
- These rights were later adopted and expanded by the United Nations (UN) to create the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP).
UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection:
i. The United Nations has officially recognised and certified World Consumer Rights Day globally.
ii. On 9th April 1985, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the revised United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP), broad rules for consumer protection, in its resolution 39/85.
Clean Energy Conference- Empowering Consumers Through the Transition:
i. Global energy prices increased by 50% in 2022, having an impact on everyone and causing many to drastically change their lifestyles to pay for energy.
ii. In the global insights survey with Members, 81% reported that consumers are adjusting their budgets to pay their energy bills.
Consumer Rights in India:
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 in India was enacted by the government and defines some fundamental consumer rights.
- The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was replaced by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.
- It widened the scope by dealing with 3 more unfair trade practices: E-commerce, product liability, and unfair contracts, by introducing a new regulatory body named Central Consumer Protection Authority, the scope was broadened.
About Consumer International:
Director General- Helena Leurent
Headquarters- London, England, the United Kingdom (UK)