Belize Celebrates world consumer rights day

Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017. 4:56 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), in commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day, is holding a public awareness drive in three locations.

The drive started yesterday in Orange Walk, continues today in Belize City, and ends in Punta Gorda on Thursday. The BBS met with members of the public to discuss what are consumer rights, and answer any questions they might have about those rights or the work of the bureau.

Consumer Protection Liaison Officer for the BBS, Rodolfo Gutierrez, explained that there are eight fundamental consumer rights, which include: the right to satisfaction of basic needs, the right to safety, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to redress, the right to consumer education, and the right to a healthy environment.

Gutierrez said that this year’s Consumer Right Day is being celebrated under the global theme: “Building a digital world consumers can trust,” which highlights both the way that internet-based transactions have developed, and the need for policies to develop with them.

“There’s no clear cut redress mechanism for people that do online transactions,” Gutierrez said. “There needs to be better systems to ensure that customers are satisfied and adequate redress are provided.”

The bureau also distributed pamphlets with information on internet usage and other statistics relevant to this year’s theme. According to the data, digital transactions accounted for 7.4 percent of total worldwide sales. The figure represented around US$1.55 trillion.

Belize currently has no legislation governing cyber transactions, cyber protection, or cyber security infrastructure. The ministry of Science and Technology, which now resides within the greater ministry of Education, does have a draft cyber policy; however, BBN has been informed that the policy is still some ways from completion.

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