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The Role of Consumer Organizations

In our day-to-day activities, we address some the following business malpractices or issues that affect consumers:

Deception
Our consumer protection work mainly involves preventing deception and unfairness. We strongly believe that a deceptive representation, omission, or practice is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances and is "material" -- that is, likely to affect consumers' conduct or decisions with respect to the product or
service being marketed.

Unfairness
An unfair practice is any action that causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to
consumers, where that injury is not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves and not outweighed by countervailing benefits of the practice.



Consumer Education

Consumer education aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that everyone needs in order to live in a consumer society. It equips people to:
  • interpret consumer information and make informed, discerning and responsible consumer choices
  • know their consumer rights
  • interpret and analyse consumer information
  • develop the confidence and skills to complain
  • effectively and resolve problems
  • seek help and advice when needed
  • understand and manage their personal finances
  • recognise the wider social and economic impact of our consumer decisions
Why is consumer education important?

Consumer Education is an essential life skill. We are all consumers and our decisions have important personal, social and economic consequences. We make our consumer choices within a sophisticated and fast-changing world. Consumer education prepares us to make effective decisions both now and when we encounter new situations and more complex consumer issues. Developing the capability to make good consumer choices is part of the 'toolkit' that everyone needs for life.

Young people are a vulnerable group and Consumer education empowers young people While society and the marketplace change, young people who have consumer skills will be better equipped to make effective choices and deal with complex consumer issues. Consumer education helps to promote understanding of consumer rights and improves individual confidence. It encourages people to make
value-based decisions at a very personal level in terms of needs and wants.

Consumer education is relevant and interesting Consumer education is relevant to life and embraces many interesting topics and issues. These include obvious topics such as shopping, advertising, labelling, pricing, food issues, personal finance and
legal rights. Many contemporary, and often contentious issues have a consumer dimension such as sustainable consumption, personal debt and GM food. Consumer
education challenges us to think about our decisions from an initial responsibility for self and family, to a wider understanding of, and social responsibility towards community.

Consumer education promotes citizenship Consumer education benefits society as a whole by creating informed and more active citizens. They develop an awareness of their roles with other groups of consumers and start to acquire the skills needed
for effective participation in community, co-operative and self-help groups. Our interests as purchasers, residents, tenants, public transport users, patients, to name just a few of our wider roles are well served by confident, articulate consumers.

Why is consumer education important?

Consumer Education is an essential life skill. We are all consumers and our decisions have important personal, social and economic consequences. We make our consumer choices within a sophisticated and fast-changing world. Consumer education prepares us to make effective decisions both now and when we encounter new situations and more complex consumer issues. Developing the capability to make good consumer choices is part of the 'toolkit' that everyone needs for life.

Young people are a vulnerable group and Consumer education empowers young people While society and the marketplace change, young people who have consumer skills will be better equipped to make effective choices and deal with complex consumer issues. Consumer education helps to promote understanding of consumer rights and improves individual confidence. It encourages people to make value-based decisions at a very personal level in terms of needs and wants.

Consumer education is relevant and interesting Consumer education is relevant to life and embraces many interesting topics and issues. These include obvious topics such as shopping, advertising, labelling, pricing, food issues, personal finance and legal rights. Many contemporary, and often contentious issues have a consumer dimension such as sustainable consumption, personal debt and GM food. Consumer education challenges us to think about our decisions from an initial responsibility for self and family, to a wider understanding of, and social responsibility towards community.

Consumer education promotes citizenship Consumer education benefits society as a whole by creating informed and more active citizens. They develop an awareness of their roles with other groups of consumers and start to acquire the skills needed for effective participation in community, co-operative and self-help groups. Our interests as purchasers, residents, tenants, public transport users, patients, to name just a few of our wider roles are well served by confident, articulate consumers.

Source: Uganda Consumer Protection Association

see also
Consumers International
www.consumersinternational.
org

Uganda Consumers' Protection Association (UCPA)
http://ucpa.eac-quality.net

Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA)
www.tfda.or.tz

Uganda National Bureau of Standards list of certified products as at April 2010