The need of an ‘UN Consumer Global Compact’

Presented at the 2021 UN Trade Forum, Geneva – June 2021

In recognition of the digital economy and the growth of big tech and sharing platforms, a call has been made to ask responsible businesses to voluntarily join a principles-based approach to doing business globally, a new ‘UN Consumer Global Compact’ which seeks to enhance the culture of fairness and cooperation toward digital and global consumers. The original ten principles of the UN Global Compact are in human rights, labor, environment, establishing with success a culture of integrity worldwide. Now, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the recovery needs rethink strategies and policies to engage the global business players to enhance consumer confidence and a new level of doing digital business globally, so I believe it is time to suggest an ‘UN Consumer Global Compact ‘. Here a first Draft aiming to make up for the ‘new vulnerabilities’ global consumers are experiencing in the digital economy:

The Ten Principles of the UN Consumer Global Compact (UNCGP):

Consumer Rights

  1. Business should support and respect consumer rights, especially in compliance with the UNCGP
  2. Uphold freedom of choice, useful and effective information to consumers
  3. Elimination of discrimination and double standards worldwide
  4. Make sure that they are not complicit of frauds or human rights and environmental rights violations in their marketplace or supply chains

Data Protection and New Marketing

  1. Business should control the actions of intermediaries, employees, influencers, and the addressable marketing personal
  2. Ensure data and AI fairness and by design
  3. Undertake initiatives to promote greater data protection and consumer privacy
  4. Taking account children and adolescents weaknesses, not impose burdens or constraints

Redress and Enforcement Rights

  1. Business should work together with national enforcement agencies and seek for consensual and amicable consumer dispute resolution
  2. Accessible Consumer Online Dispute Resolution platforms and channels for consumer redress including cross-borders disputes.

Article by: Prof. Claudia Lima Marques, member of the International Association of Consumer Law, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

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