Consumers International calls for COVID-19 response to prioritise consumer protection and empowerment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis Consumers International members in 100 countries are calling for a focus on the protection and empowerment of individuals in the marketplace based on consumer rights, and for co-ordinated strategies across nations and intergovernmental bodies to build fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economies through consumer protection.

We are calling on G20 member governments to support a global co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis that protects and respects consumers in both the immediate efforts to halt the spread of the virus and the worst impacts of the economic effects, and in future strategies to rebuild and renew our social, environmental and economic systems.

A summary of the joint statement

Through the COVID-19 pandemic our members have been using their national voices to share responsible information for health and home. Through this range of network activity, our members have observed that:

  • Building trust now during the crisis is crucial: Governments and industry taking decisive, fair and transparent action now will not only save lives but will build trust for the future
  • The international nature of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is a reminder of how interconnected the world is today, and how we are only as strong as the weakest link.
  • Emerging markets and vulnerable consumers in every nation face the biggest risks in terms of the immediate impact on health and mortality, and the economic downturn that will follow.

Consumer protection can help now, and when we rebuild safe, fair, sustainable and resilient markets for all generations –

For immediate efforts to halt the spread of the virus and the worst impacts of the economic effects, we must protect people in crucial systems and marketplaces:

  • through ensuring the Supply of and access to UN recognised legitimate consumer needs prioritising health, food and essential commodities, finance and connectivity
  • protection from unfair practices, prioritising price gouging, scams lack of redress, misinformation, unfair treatment and loss of privacy with attention given to the protection of vulnerable and low-income consumers.

In future strategies to rebuild and renew, we want to see investment in the urgent shift to sustainable consumption and production driven by people’s consumer rights in the marketplace.

  • Public investments must support critical social, environmental and economic systems by prioritising health, food, finance, connectivity, sustainability and consumer protection.

Read the Joint Statement in full.

Consumers Internaitonal 16/04/2020.