Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Geraint Howells, Iain Ramsay, Thomas Wihelmsson and David Kraft
Chapter 3: Development and Consumer Law
Sothi Rachagan 1. Introduction The right to development is an enduring theme of concern to consumerists and consumer organisations. The consumer movement’s emphasis on development became even more marked with the establishment in the last quarter of the twentieth century of a large number of consumer groups in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The influence of these groups led the global consumer movement to add to Kennedy’s four consumer rights (safety, information, choice and representation) another four (the right to basic goods and services, redress, education and a healthy environment). The addition of the right to basic goods and services was a formal commitment by consumer organisations to champion the attainment of the basic needs of the poor, those on low incomes and the disadvantaged. ‘Value for people’ rather than just ‘value for money’ became the guiding philosophy of the developing world consumer groups. They work on the problems faced by peasants, farmers and fishermen and educate disadvantaged communities in such matters as human rights and the starting of small businesses,1 going beyond the traditional scope of consumer organisations. They have committed to the reform of the World Trade Organisation2 and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).3 1 For a description of some of these programmes, see Asia Pacific Consumer (2005), 41 (3), 31–6. 2 The Third World Network (headquartered in Penang, Malaysia) and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (headquartered in Jaipur, India) are notable examples. 3 The eight Millennium...
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