15 March: World Consumer Rights Day
The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2016 was observed on 15 March 2016. The day was celebrated by the Consumers International (CI) across the world with the theme Antibiotics off the Menu.
The theme was taken up to ensure that fast food companies make a global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine.
Significance of the theme
Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) cautioned that the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.
Growing antibiotic resistance is driven by over use of antibiotics. Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease.
Despite worldwide concern about the overuse of antibiotics, their use in agriculture is due to increase by two thirds by 2030 - from 63200 tons in 2010 to 105600 tons in 2030.
Against this backdrop, consumers have an important role to play in persuading food companies to make the changes that are needed to stop this global public health threat and protect our medicines for the future.
About World Consumer Rights Day
• It is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.
• Every year, the CI chooses a theme and organizes various consumer awareness activities in close coordination with the governmental and non-governmental organizations.
• The CI is the world federation of consumer groups that serves as the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers.
• The WCRD is observed on 15 March every year to commemorate the historic address given by the then US President John F Kennedy to the US congress in 1962.
• In the speech he outlined the definition of consumer rights for the first time. He was the first world leader to formally define ‘consumer rights’.
• WCRD was first observed on 15 March 1983 and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action.
• In 2015, WCRD was observed with the theme Fix Our Phone Rights Helping consumers choose healthy diets.
• In India, National Consumer Rights Day is observed annually on 24 December.
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Where: Across the World
When: 16 March 2016