Working with the ASEAN’s Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP), in collaboration with the Competition, Consumer Protection and Intellectual Property Rights Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, the project aims to develop an operational framework for the regular collection and assessment of sex-disaggregated data on product-related injuries by consumer protection agencies at the national and regional levels. The project supports the implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection 2016-2025 and is linked to the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, which envisions comprehensive and well-functioning national and regional consumer protection systems established and enforced through effective legislation, redress mechanisms and public awareness. These elements are important pre-requisites for a competitive economic community that serves to enhance the interests of male and female consumers.
Problem Being Addressed by CTIF
Consumer protection is an integral part of a modern, efficient, effective and fair market place, and one key aspect of protecting consumers is ensuring product safety. Product safety remains a concern in ASEAN, and as such, region-wide initiatives such as this project are being undertaken to complement existing national efforts to enact legislation and create specific agencies to promote consumer protection in the region.
Consumer protection, particularly for women and the poor, is an important aspect of a people-oriented ASEAN and has significant development dimensions. From an economic perspective, stronger national and regional consumer protection mechanisms can enhance ASEAN consumers’ confidence in the reliability of products manufactured and sold in the ASEAN Economic Community market, which will in turn enhance intra-regional trade. From a health perspective, consumers’ welfare can be enhanced through mechanisms that can more effectively guarantee that only safe products are available on the market. This is especially important for poor consumers, who typically cannot afford to purchase the highest quality consumer goods, and for women, who continue to have primary responsibility for chores and meal preparation in most households in the region. Consumer protection also plays an important role in ensuring equal access to information on product incidents and faulty products and on how to report them.