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The Eight Basic Consumer Rights

| Lewis Akenji

In 1962 former US President John F Kennedy put forward four basic consumer rights – safety; information; choice; and representation. This created a charter for the world’s consumer organisations worldwide and were expanded in order to reflect the comprehensive needs of consumers.

In 1962 former US President John F Kennedy put
forward four basic consumer rights – safety; information; choice;
and representation
. This created a charter for the world’s
consumer organisations worldwide and were expanded (to include the rights to
education, redress, a
healthy environment and basic
needs
) in order to reflect the comprehensive needs of consumers.
The International Organisation of Consumers Unions, now known as Consumers
International, adopted the eight rights as their platform. On 9 April 1985, they
were adopted by the United Nations’ Assembly. Together they provide a framework
for strengthening consumer protection policies around the world.

• Safety
The right
to be protected against products, production processes and services which are
hazardous to health or life. Manufacturers of consumer goods and products must
undertake safety and performance testing before their products are placed in the
market.

• Information
The
right to be given information – including  ingredients/chemical contents,
precautions, if any, limitations and expiration date – needed to make an
informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising
and labelling.

• Choice
The right
to be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at
competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.

• Representation
The right to have
consumer interests represented in the making and execution of policy, and in the
development of products and services.

• Basic needs
The
right to have access to basic goods and services, adequate food, clothing,
shelter, health care, education and sanitation, so that everyone can fully
participate in society.

• Redress
To
receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for
misrepresentation, inferior and substandard goods or unsatisfactory services.

• Education
The
right to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices
about goods and services while being aware of basic consumer rights and
responsibilities and how to act on them

• Healthy
environment
The right to live and work in an environment which
is neither threatening nor dangerous and which permits a life of dignity and
well-being of present and future generation.

This article first appeared in the magazine
Tudatos Vasarlo issue 1.

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