Consumer defense is an important aspect of public policy that seeks to protect and empower consumers. It involves a variety of activities, including education and counseling; representation in utility rate and policy proceedings before State and Federal regulators; and advocacy for consumers.
Consumer protection is the process of ensuring that individuals have access to goods and services, free from fraud, deception or unfair practices. It also includes promoting a healthy marketplace by reducing price discrimination, protecting consumers from scams and fraudulent offers, and working to ensure that products are safe for purchase and use.
The basic principles of consumer protection are rooted in the idea that a consumer is entitled to trust in the quality and safety of a product or service. When a consumer can rely on the reliability of producers, economic activity flourishes and society benefits.
This trust is a fundamental factor in the development of a market economy. It is the basis for economic growth, a basic pillar of social security and a key element in the protection of the environment.
As a result, the protection of consumer rights has become increasingly important in today’s globalized, digital economy. This is reflected in the growing internationalization of consumer law, as well as in the creation of global governance regimes dedicated to this issue.
In the past, consumer protection primarily focused on national and regional level challenges. However, the emergence of global challenges in this field necessitated the creation of new approaches that would help consumers to cope with the changing nature of the world economy and its impact on their lives.
These approaches are often called soft law, and they are based on the assumption that consumer rights should be protected without requiring any direct involvement from the law enforcement agencies. They focus on educating consumers about their rights and empowering them to take action.
To implement this approach, the Government of Peru has developed an Integrated National Consumer Protection System. It consists of four strategic cornerstones: the establishment of an efficient legal and regulatory framework, the promotion of effective mediation mechanisms between suppliers and consumers, and the prevention and resolution of consumer disputes.
The origins of consumer defense in Peru can be traced back to 1980, when a new constitutional norm was introduced into the country. This norm, Article 65, contained the following declaration: “The State defends the interest of consumers and clients, recognizes their rights to information, health and safety.”
We can see that this statement is in harmony with the first article of the Constitution, which places defence of the human person as the supreme goal of society and the State. It also reflects the reorientation of the legislative agenda and political stance in the country.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to trace the legislative intent back to 1933, when the Political Charter of the Republic was drafted. Unlike the previous one, this Constitution did not mention any rule referring to the figure of the consumer in its provisions, but it did contain other provisions indirectly referring to the figure of the consumer.