Table of Content

1. Brief history of the consumer movement

2. United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection

3. Consumers Association of Bangladesh, (CAB)

4. Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009

5. Recommendation for increasing consumer awareness about their
right 8
6. References



and particularly the need to address poverty. Consumer boom The increasing number of consumer goods on offer was accompanied by rising wages across Europe and North America. and to challenge rogue traders. The developing world Meanwhile at the biennial conferences that IOCU organized. The global consumer movement was born. leaders spoke of a wider consumer agenda. Newly formed groups were invited to join from across the world and IOCU's first global newsletter was launched. access to basic goods and services. and the challenges faced by consumers in developing countries. Regional offices 2 . Consumer organizations sprang up to analyze the products. Testing The following years saw a steady expansion in testing collaboration among these new organizations and a widening of focus for IOCU. Brief history of the consumer movement Consumer rights take hold The first ever international conference of leaders from consumer organizations took place in The Hague on March 1960. Five of the 17 organizations present signed papers to create the International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU).1. provide independent advice.

a regional office was created in Asia. head of the Asia Pacific Office. which brought together disparate groups on a particular issue for a particular purpose. including the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). IOCU's role in the networks made it one of the early leaders of the international NGO community. Singapore. He targeted transnational corporations with specific campaigns.was adopted by the UN in 1985 after 10 years of campaigning. Its advisory committee came from India. Work began in Africa in the late 1980s leading to the set up of a regional office in Zimbabwe in 1994. research and fundraising) and on specific issues. Capacity building Through the 1990s IOCU managed extensive capacity building programs in all parts of the world. 3 . This gave important legitimacy to the principles of consumer rights and practical support for developing national consumer protection legislation. training both in methods (such as institutional management. the seminal international document of the consumer movement . The need for a global consumer voice IOCU published a Latin American newsletter through its member organization in Mexico from 1981 and eventually opened a regional office in Uruguay in 1986. and played a leading role in setting up issue-based networks with partners from outside the consumer movement. took IOCU into new ways of campaigning and advocacy. Fiji and the Philippines. UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection These methods and activities brought results.the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection . Issue-based networks Anwar Fazal.In the early 1970s. The consumer movement had indeed become global. Membership numbers increased to nearly 250 from around 115 countries. These networks were early pioneers of a new method of campaigning for NGOs. Among them. Malaysia. a very different stakeholder group from the founders of IOCU itself.

And CI's Presidents came. Australia. but with new developments in technology and business practices. Brazil and Kenya. 4 . successively. Campaigning and member development was a particular priority in Central and Eastern Europe and in Africa. 1997) and then Africa (South Africa. a much-altered organization was in place. Hong Kong. IOCU becomes Consumers International By the late 1990s. from Indonesia. In the former. World Congresses were held for the first time in Latin America (Chile. 2000). CI helped create a sustainable consumer presence very nearly from scratch in countries struggling first with democracy and transition to market economies. a transition symbolized by a change of name from IOCU to Consumers International (CI) in 1995. particularly those of the newly formed World Trade Organization (WTO).WTO Advocacy began to focus on international trade negotiations. United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) act as an international reference point of the consumer movement. IOCU also increased its work at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (food standards) as international standards became the reference point for disputes about artificial barriers to trade. 2. there is a strong argument for revising them to ensure they are still relevant to the challenges facing consumers. Many publications appeared in three languages. These developments in global governance made it increasingly difficult for individual countries to adopt national standards that were different from those agreed internationally. and then with the demands of preparations to join the EU.

price stability of essentials. road safety. The major areas of CAB activities are consumer information and education. The The The The The The The The right right right right right right right right to to to to to to to to the satisfaction of basic needs safety be informed choose be heard redress consumer education a healthy environment. v. safe environment. was founded in 1978 and got its registration with the Department of Social Services in 1983 and with the NGO Affairs Bureau in 1986. government and non-govt. agencies for enactment of Consumer Protection Law (CPL) and on various other consumer issues and problems for consumers` protection. a non-government and non-profit voluntary organization. they were updated with a new section on sustainable consumption and production (section G) to reflect environmental concerns emerging during the 1990s. vi. The guidelines have been interpreted by CI and 'translated' into clear consumer rights as follows: i. 3. They gave important legitimacy to the principles of consumer rights and practical support and guidance for developing national consumer protection legislation. research and studies on consumer issues and problems. Consumers Association of Bangladesh. complaints handling and providing legal support. campaign for promotion & protection of breast feeding. viii.The guidelines were adopted by the UN in 1985 after 10 years of campaigning by CI. representation and lobbying with policy makers. monitoring of market prices and qualities of essential commodities and services. iii. In 1999. (CAB) Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB). anti-tobacco movement. safe food and commodities. Since its inception CAB has been organizing programmes and activities for promotion and protection of the rights and interests of the general consumers in the country. iv. ii. vii. 5 .

“Socialism meaning economic and social justice”. trade union leaders. NGO workers and social activists. social and consumer activists. is struggling to fulfill the basic needs of its population. students. teachers. • A national seminar on the role of teachers in the promotion and protection of consumer rights in the country at the National Press Club. journalists. journalists. • Training and orientation of Consumer Education Group (CEG) members who then organize group meetings to discuss issues pertaining to consumer rights and consumers’ interest. women leaders. The former was conducted according to the various groups such as teachers. a third world country. A consumer is entitled to lodge complain to the Consumer Rights 6 . The following are activities by CAB on Consumer Education: • The formation of Consumer Education Volunteer Groups in urban and rural areas. Based on the observations and recommendations of the participants. CAB prepared a project proposal on Consumer Education Program in primary and secondary schools. housewives. students. lawyers.CAB’s involvement in Consumer Education consists of discussion meetings as well as training programs. Dhaka on 11 April 1996. business leaders. 2009 provided both civil and criminal remedies. • Training and orientation programs on consumerism. consumer rights and related issues for NGO workers. 4. a fundamental principle of the state policy and the constitution is yet to be implemented although 43 years have already passed since its independence. religious leaders. women leaders. Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009 The Protection of consumer rights is now a global agenda. The Consumer Rights Protection Act. Bangladesh.

(iv) Mobile Court (can work/ function under various Laws. The specific areas covered by the consumer rights Protection related statutes in Bangladesh (Safety in Product) are: 7 . A consumer although barred from filing a direct complaint to the police station under the Consumer Rights Protection Act. (ii) National Consumer Rights Protection Council. The Deputy Commissioners of different districts can exercise the same power as given to the department. black marketing. (xi) Claims Tribunal etc. (viii) Ordinary Civil Courts. (x) BSTI. The Law on consumer rights not only prohibits adulteration. cheating or fraud in weight and measurement or in selling products with higher price but also provides punishments for such acts. smuggling. It may be constituted by a special executive order). (vi) Food Special Court. (vii) Ordinary Criminal Courts. (v) Drug Court. 2009 can file a case to the Police station under other Laws. The Bangladeshi laws provides for the establishment of different organizations to protect the rights of the consumers including various Courts or Tribunals such as(i) Consumer Rights Protection Department.10 lakh under the Drug Control Ordinances. The counterfeit products or stolen goods or adulterated food or drugs are also prohibited for selling in the market and violation of which is punishable under the penal Laws including death penalty under the Special Powers Act. A manufacturer or producer as well as a service provider or even in special circumstances the seller is liable for adulterated foods or drugs or of other essential commodities. 1974 or imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of Tk.Protection Department for any violation of the Act. 1982. hoarding. (iii) Special Tribunal. (ix) Marine Courts.

i. vi. 5. x. Milk & substitute to breast-milk. xi. Several steps have been taken by the Government. Given all such initiatives. v. motor vehicles and railway etc. Black-marketing. Sale of date-expired product. Transport service that includes. 8 . both at the Central and State level towards generating awareness among the consumers. Medical service. Weight & measurement. vii. Adulteration of drug. viii. Monopoly business. ii. Recommendation for increasing consumer awareness about their right In today's changing market scenario. Standards of Product and labeling. Counterfeiting of Product. Telecommunication service. it is the responsibility of the consumer as well to keep in mind the following suggestions:  Purchase products only after their complete scrutiny and not at the cost of attractive advertisements. Specific areas covered by the consumer rights Protection related statutes in Bangladesh (ensuring proper service) are: i. Price hike. He/she should be equipped to be fully vigilant so as to be able to protect himself/herself from any wrongful act on the part of the seller/trader. ii. water.e. land i. iv. Legal service. vi. xiv. Energy Regulatory service. Sale of adultered food. Smuggling. Adulteration of Food. xii. v. Sale of adultered drug.Air. iv. there is an increasing necessity of empowering the consumers through education and motivation regarding their rights and responsibilities. if fixed. Trade Marks. iii. Security service or service by Law enforcing agencies. ix. xiii. iii.

 Keep check on the weighing and measuring instruments used by traders.php/component/businesslaws http://www.  Check print of MRP on the packet. any violation in their rights.  Avoid buying fruits and vegetables from unhygienic place.  Check the expiry date of the product. Moreover. http://unctad.consumerbd.consumersinternational. particularly that of eatables and medicines. consumer must be cautious of the quality of the 9 . References http://www. Along with cost consideration. Most importantly. the packaging and appearance of the product should not be the guiding factor for consumer http://boi.  Check the quantity as per the figure printed on the packet.  Always collect bill at the time of purchase. it is the prime responsibility of a consumer to bring to the notice of the concerned