Barbados will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day on Sunday, March 15, under the theme The Sustainable Consumer.
The day, which is intended to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs, provides individuals and entities with the opportunity to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices that undermine those rights.
In Barbados, the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, through its World Consumer Rights Day Committee, will stage a series of public relations initiatives to address consumer issues.
Activities will commence on March 15, with a church service at Love and Light Ministries, located at the St. George Secondary School, Constant, St. George, at 8:30 a.m. where Minister Dwight Sutherland will address the congregation.
A World Consumer Rights Day message by the Minister will also be disseminated across all media platforms.
Later that same day, personnel from the Ministry will participate in the television programme People’s Business to discuss consumer protection issues as well as the role and function of their departments.
These will include the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), the Office of the Public Counsel (OPC) and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).
Activities will culminate on Friday, March 20, with the Warrens Business Fair. It will be held in the northern car park of the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, and runs from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
The fair will showcase the work of the various departments within the Ministry, members of the Small Business Development Centre network and other public and private sector agencies who provide support services. Students along with teachers will be in attendance.
Members of the public are encouraged to come out and interact with staff from the Ministry, including those from the BNSI, FTC, OPC and DCCA, and learn more about consumer rights and protection as well as the services provided. Pamphlets and brochures will also be distributed.
World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F. Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on March 15, 1962, formally addressing the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so.
However, it was not until 1983 that the consumer movement first marked the date, mobilizing action on important issues and planning and executing campaigns.