Basic information about consumer protection

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Consumers have rights. This is recognized by most ASEAN countries, and now by Cambodia.

How do we define the word ‘consumer?’ Anyone who buys or uses goods or services. In other words, we are all consumers. Consumer protection sets out rights and obligation for consumers and those who produce, transport and sell products.

In Cambodia, the Law on Consumer Protection took effect on November 2, 2019. The law creates a complaint mechanism for consumers who have problems with products they have purchased, and penalties for misleading ads. The law also calls for a new consumer association to represent citizens. For more information on the new law, click here.

The Cambodian Institute for Research and Rural Development (CIRD) was the first organization to work with Consumer International (CI) in 2013 to protect consumers. CIRD began by conducting research on ways to promote healthy food for consumers and to empower consumers to monitor markets to make sure they used safe and hygienic practices.

Recent CIRD research shows that Cambodians are very concerned about consumer issues, and particularly about their access to safe and healthy food.

In a nationwide on-line poll of 2,038 people in April 2019, 38% said most concerned about food, among all consumer issues

In 29 focus group discussions involving 149 people, 97% said that they assume that there are unsafe foods available on the markets. And more than half (52%) said that they experienced with stomach aches after eating some food bought from the market.

More than half of the poll respondents (55%) said they want stronger law enforcement.

CIRD is creating a network of Cambodian citizens to work with the private sector and government to ensure that consumers have access to safe food and other products. If you want to get updates about or be involved in this network, please sign up for updates.