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Protection of Muslim Consumers

  • by WMCO
  • 5 January 2016

On March 15, 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented a speech to the United States Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called the Consumer Bill of Rights.

  1. Protection of Consumers

Consumer Bill of Rights:

On March 15, 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented a speech to the United States Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called the Consumer Bill of Rights.

“Consumers by definition include us all,’ Kennedy said in his Congressional Statement, ’They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group... whose views are often not heard.”

The United Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection expanded these into eight rights.

United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection:

The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection are a declaration of best practices in consumer protection law and policy. The Guidelines are not binding, but do provide a set of basic consumer protection objectives upon which governments have agreed, thereby serving as a policy framework for implementation at a national level. Whilst directed primarily at governments, some provisions of the Guidelines are also directed at businesses.

The Guidelines originally covered seven areas: physical safety, promotion and protection of consumers’ economic interests, standards for the safety and quality of consumer goods and services, distribution facilities for essential consumer goods and services, measures enabling consumers to obtain redress, education and information programmes, and measures relating to specific areas (food, water, and pharmaceuticals). With their amendment in 1999, an eighth area, promotion of sustainable consumption, was added.

World Consumer Rights Day:

And thereafter Consumers International adopted the eight consumer rights as a charter and started recognizing March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day.

• The right to satisfaction of basic needs - To have access to basic, essential goods and services: 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.

  1. Protection of Muslim Consumers

Universal declaration of human rights:

Muslim consumers’ protection refers to the same rights than any other consumers
As Muslim consumers we have religious specificities with respect to our consumption. The halal market, organization of Pilgrim trips, Islamic finance … are markets addressed, especially, to Muslim consumers.

Thus Muslim Consumer groups need to refer to human rights in order to ensure the protection of their beliefs within these new markets.

Muslim Consumer groups in Non-Muslim Countries:

France : ASIDCOM

France: UFCM

UK: Behalal

Belgium: ASEVE

Netherland: ikeethalal

International: WMCO

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