Another World Consumer Rights Day [WCRD] is here again. Precisely on Friday 15th March, 2019. The theme for this year’s WCRD is ‘Trusted Smart Products’. Last year, the theme was ‘making digital market places fairer’
Building on the success of last year’s theme, the 2019 campaign, according to Consumer International, will highlight what consumers want and need from a connected world and how important it is to put them at the heart of the development of these digital products and services.
“As smart products are increasingly becoming a common part of daily life, we want o shine, we want to ensure the smart products they are selling meet people’s needs,” stated the body.
WCRD, stressed the Consumer International, “is our chance to make real impact for consumers and remind the world about the importance of observing and enforcing consumer rights. We want to raise awareness around the importance of this year’s theme by engaging more people in more activities in more countries than ever before.”
Throwing more light on the theme and the choice for it, the international body noted that as more people come online across the world and “our connection to the internet becomes better and faster, smart products will become more of a day-to-day reality for consumers everywhere, making a major change in the way many consumers interact with products and services.
“The emergence of smart technology brings many opportunities to consumers, access to new services, more responsive products, greater convenience and choice. There are, however, some significant causes for concern for example, lack of security, privacy, and meaningful choice over how we use them, and there is also a lack of clarity about who is responsible when things go wrong.”
The international body also pointed out that there are issues over lack of access, with millions of people globally locked out of this new technology by overly high data charges.
It noted that globally there are currently 23.1 billion products in the world out numbering people three to one.
What can You Do.
Consumers all over the world including Nigerians are encouraged to join other consumers to make positive impact in this year’s Consumer Day. “We will have a range of social media activities you can take part in for the day. You can join our call for trusted smart products by using the #BetterDigitalWorld hashtag.
Learn about World Consumer Rights Day
If you have ever purchased something and needed to return it, you have exercised your consumer’s rights. These rights have not always been something that was easily defined or enforced. The organisation, Consumers International, has been bringing awareness to these rights with World Consumer Rights Day.
History of World Consumer Rights Day
Consumers International was founded in 1960 with the goal to fight for a fair, safe and sustainable future for consumers in a global market dominated by international corporations. Citing President John F. Kennedy’s groundbreaking address to Congress, they take his definition of consumer rights as their definition. It is also agreed that the president’s remarks set the ball in motion to make these rights something more than just words on paper, but rights that would come to be something enforceable.
World Consumer Rights Day originated in 1983 to mobilise citizen action. Citizen action groups have been a large part of bringing change into the marketplace. They have lobbied for safer products and protections from harmful practices and products. Over time, the consumer movement has worked to write what is now regarded as the eight basic consumer rights. These rights include ideas such as the right to safety, the right to satisfaction of basic needs, the right to redress and the right to be informed.
Consumers International has over 200 members and spans 100 countries. They take their mission of being a voice and champion for consumers in policy-making forums and in the global marketplace. They work outside of any political parties and maintain their independence so that they can make sure that consumers are treated properly.
How to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day
Each year, World Consumer Rights Day adopts a theme to highlight. Some themes from the past have included antibiotic resistance and healthier diets. To celebrate in your community, look for events that are trying to bring awareness to consumer rights, or areas of public policy that need to be changed. The day is about mobilising citizen action groups across the world and if everyone joined in to help in their own communities, it would come closer to meeting their goals.
Another way to spend the day is to find out what goals are being addressed and see if there are ways that you can help. It may take the form of emailing, writing or calling your local elected officials. Consumers International is all about making sure that the voice of the consumer is never silenced. So, raise your voice and let it be heard!
President John F. Kennedy was a pioneer in many ways. On the day in March that he addressed congress and set out his plan to give consumers rights, it made an impact on the world that is still felt today. Head over to consumersinternational.org and find out more about how you can take part in World Consumer Rights Day!
Contact Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria [CPC] and air your views regarding consumer rights in Nigeria.
Additional information from Consumer International.