Skip to main content

UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection

  • Published on August 20, 2021
The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) are "a valuable set of principles for setting out the main characteristics of effective consumer protection legislation, enforcement institutions and redress systems and for assisting interested Member States in formulating and enforcing domestic and regional laws, rules and regulations that are suitable to their own economic and social and environmental circumstances, as well as promoting international enforcement cooperation among Member States and encouraging the sharing of experiences in consumer protection."
The guidelines were first adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 39/248 of 16 April 1985, later expanded by the Economic and Social Council in resolution E/1999/INF/2/Add.2 of 26 July 1999, and revised by the General Assembly in resolution 70/186 of 22 December 2015.
Taking into account the interests and needs of consumers in all Member States, particularly in developing ones, recognizing that consumers often face imbalances in economic terms, educational levels and bargaining power and bearing in mind that consumers should have the right of access to non-hazardous products, as well as the right to promote just, equitable and sustainable economic and social development and environmental protection, the guidelines for consumer protection have the following objectives:
            (a)       To assist countries in achieving or maintaining adequate protection for their population as consumers;
            (b)       To facilitate production and distribution patterns responsive to the needs and desires of consumers;
            (c)       To encourage high levels of ethical conduct for those engaged in the production and distribution of goods and services to consumers;
            (d)       To assist countries in curbing abusive business practices by all enterprises at the national and international levels which adversely affect consumers;
            (e)       To facilitate the development of independent consumer groups;
            (f)        To further international cooperation in the field of consumer protection;
            (g)       To encourage the development of market conditions which provide consumers with greater choice at lower prices;
            (h)       To promote sustainable consumption.

UNCTAD promotes the guidelines and encourages interested Member States to create awareness of the many ways in which member States, businesses and civil society can promote consumer protection in the provision of public and private goods and services.

External source(s)

You might also be Interested in