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The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) will join the rest of the world in observing World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on March 15 under the theme: ‘Achieving Financial Independence through Freedom of Choice’.

Education, Information and Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, noted that the annual observance seeks to highlight the rights of consumers and to lobby support for those rights to be respected and protected.

Importantly also, the celebration of WCRD provides a forum for exposing the market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

Highlighting the theme, Miss Campbell said the issue of financial services is again under the radar internationally, for a third consecutive year, and is “a poignant consumer issue in the Jamaican financial market space."

“This has brought into sharp focus the quality of service provided by financial institutions and the available levels of access to benefits onto the global agenda for the consumer movement,” the Communications Specialist said.

She pointed out that CAC is seeking to confront the financial services issue, both nationally and regionally, and hopesthat the celebration of the Day “will serve to motivate consumers to assert their rights and engage the institutions in rallying for improved services that are fair and just for everyone in the marketplace."

The slew of activities and events to mark WCRD will begin with a national church service on Sunday, March 11 at the Webster Memorial United Church, 53 Half-Way Tree Road, beginning 9:45 a.m.

Throughout the week, schools across the island and targeted parish libraries in the three counties will mount displays on consumer-related issues and topics.

On March 15, the Minister of Industry, Investment of Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton’s WCRD message will be broadcast on television and radio in time allotted for government broadcast. The message will also be read in churches and schools island-wide.

The day’s observance will culminate with a lecture by Author and Financial Expert, Sharon Dawson, on the issue of financial independence at the Shortwood Teacher’s College.

March 15 has been celebrated internationally as WCRD since 1983.

 

By Kadian Brown, JIS Reporter