On 15th March 1962, President John F. Kennedy championed consumer rights to the US Congress. This was the first time in history that a politician had set out such principles. In the years to follow, the consumer movement refined this vision into a set of eight basic consumer rights*. These now define much of the work carried out by consumer organisations such as the NCF. The eight consumer rights are:
The right to satisfaction of basic needs – to have access to basic, essential goods and services such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
The right to safety – to be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life.
The right to be informed – to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.
The right to choose – to be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.
The right to be heard – to have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
The right to redress – to receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
The right to consumer education – to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
The right to a healthy environment – to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
*Source: Consumers International