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  • Спілка об’єднань громадян «Всеукраїнська Федерація Споживачів «ПУЛЬС»
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Third international Forum "CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION: NEW APPROACHES IN THE EU AND UKRAINE".

  • 11-13 March 2009: Joint EU-UNDP Project “Consumer Society and Citizen Networks” held 3 rd International Forum dedicated to World Consumer Rights Day.

    World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion on 15 March for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. It is also a time for promoting the basic rights of all consumers by demanding that those rights are respected and protected by highlighting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. It was first observed on 15 March 1983, and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action.

    The Forum «CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION: NEW APPROACHES IN THE EU AND UKRAINE» i s the third gathering of Ukrainian and European consumer organizations aimed at implementation of best world consumer rights protection practices on Ukrainian ground. Based on 3 years of cooperative work to consolidate consumer organizations, academic circles, international projects and socially-responsible businesses, Consumer Society and Citizen Networks Project strives to a new level of partnership between state bodies involved into consumer rights protection and civil society organizations.

    The European consumer movement is really powerful ”, - says Dirk Schuebel, Acting Head of Trade and Economic Section of the Delegation of European Commission in Ukraine, - “ It is reflected in constant development of consumer legislation, issuance of new Consumer Directive and ongoing cooperation between consumer organizations of the EU ”.

    Seeking ways for common action, participants 2-nd Consumer Forum 2008 drafted a Memorandum, the signatories of which proved to be the most active Ukrainian consumer organizations that worked hard to solve burning consumer rights protection problems on local level.

    Consumer rights are set forth in a number of international instruments such as UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection. It is consumers who, according to this document bear the responsibility for regulating market economies worldwide, says Ms. Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecka, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine .

    «Informed consumers by their choices have to regulate the market of consumer goods and services in national economies by voting with their pockets and ousting unfair business practices and low-quality goods by not choosing them”, - explains Ms. Kazana-Wisniowiecka.

    Cooperation between academic institutions and consumer NGOs was brought to a special focus of the current Consumer Forum in the process of section and plenary work. The partnership will be mainly through implementation of the All-Ukrainian contest for school-children “Youth tests quality” and “Sustainable consumption”, introduction of course on “Consumer essentials” within secondary schools curriculum as well as information exchange between consumer organizations and centres of post-graduate education. Both the initiatives are supported and coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

    We have finally come to realizing what we have long been looking forward to – implementation of consumer education into Ukrainian schools” , - says Mr. Oleg Yeresko, Head of department of secondary and primary education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. “This course is fully in line with best practices of consumer education in the EU and pro-European course taken by the government of Ukraine ».

    Furthermore, together with experts of Consumers International and Stiftung Warentest participants of the Forum discussed legal issues of CRP, mediation and ADR, information campaigning for consumers, independent testing and other consumer-related agenda.

    13 March, the forum hosted participants and winners of consumer journalism contest “Truth for People”

    This was the first Ukrainian contest of this kind supported by the EU-UNDP Consumer Societh And Citizen Networks Project in partnership with the Institute of mass media information. It was designed to foster development of a high-quality coverage of consumer issues in Ukrainian mass media, improve access to trustworthy and objective information on quality of goods and services on Ukrainian market.

    The contest was executed in the following nominations:

    • The best TV programme;
    • The best radio programme;
    • The best printed article;
    • The best internet article;

    In the process of the contest organizers singled out another nomination “The best educational film”. We understood that there are works that due to their creative and informative potential do not fit into any of the existing nominations, but which still can serve as a artistic and effective method of delivering important information to young consumers”, - said Ms. Klavdia Maksimenko, Consumer Society Project manager.

    The contest harvested works from more than 130 participants from the whole of Ukraine in all nominations.

    The winners are awarded by a study-tour to the German Institute of Independent Consumer Testing Stiftung Warentest , Germany ( www.test.de ), which is a consumer organizations responsible for informing people on quality of consumer goods and services on the European market.


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