Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Honorable Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas leading the Consumer Rights Day Parade – 1st National Celebration and recognition.
More than 300 consumers in Port Vila and Efate Rural, including online participants participated on the Consumer Rights Day celebration held on the 17th of March, 2017. Participants including Students, Youths, Women Leaders, Vanwood Mamas (women and young girls), leaders of respective Ministries and Departments, Police Officers, Representatives from Australian High Commission, Tourism officers and more others who spent whole morning learning from the panel discussions and the consumer Rights and protection speeches made during the day.
The day began with a parade (from the Anchor Inn) in town to the National Convention Center led by the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) brass band.
During the event, all participants including the Hon Prime Minister witnessed, and listened to, a young female officer presenting her experience of administering a rural internet café in Malo Island, one of the rural community island outside Port Vila, our main town, highlighting to the audience the positive impact and benefits the internet café’ has contributed to the community.
The event has positively impacted those who have attended the event – including those that were listening on line (live stream), learning the importance of consumer protection overall and responsibilities involved. As the outcome of the event, a concept starter document was presented to the Minister responsible on way forward actions.
A representative from the Consumer Council of Fiji was also presented to share the Fiji Consumer Council experiences and emphasis on the importance of having a consumer body and how they deal with consumer protection issues in Fiji. This was an important element of the event that will assist a lot in the idea of setting up an advocacy body for Consumers in Vanuatu in future.
Ms. Bindula Devi, Representative of Fiji Consumer Council presenting on the importance of protecting consumers
Local boys set up on stage played Consumer Rights Day Song and also performed
A local string band even composed a special song for the day. The Wan Smol bag Theatre Hip Hop group performed a captivating show that really attracted the crowd, with a dance that highlighted the current life style of the young consumers of the modern technology that is seen around Vanuatu in this time and age. Another interesting initiative that was put forward on that day was a Poster’s competition on the basis that will allow the youths to display the views and ideas how they felt about the Digital age that we in today. The poster for the winner of the competition will be used across Vanuatu.
TRR Consumer team with the Posters winner
Wan Smol Bag Group Theater show Participants assemble at Anchor Inn for the Parade
Panelist: left to Right. Business Consumer Rep, Digicel Vanuatu Rep, Finance Intelligent unit Rep, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Rep
Building on from the 2014 World Consumer Rights Day celebration with the theme ‘Fix our Phone Rights’ - this year, 2015, one of TRR’s projects is the coordination and facilitation of the gaining of national recognition of World Consumer Rights Day, celebrated on 15 March each year. To commemorate this day the Minister responsible has requested the office of Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR) to coordinate the event (see this letter) to be held on the 16th of March in the Sea Front Park in Port Vila.
The celebration of World Consumer Rights day will assist with the increase of a citizen’s awareness of their rights and responsibilities as consumers of goods and services, but more importantly, to gain the Vanuatu Government’s and relevant stakeholder national recognition of this special day.
Global trends are indicating a significant shift of power in favor of consumers. Consumers in Vanuatu need to be aware of this as well as to ensure this power is appropriately utilized and not abused.
Additionally, TRR proposes to use this initiative to progress relevant government policy objectives as well as the Vanuatu’s National Vision.
World Consumer Rights Day 2015 Promotional video clips:
• Consumer rights to ICT (Use of ICT to enable healthy diet and abuse of ICT will lead to unhealthy diet)
TRR wishes to inform every user of a telecommunications service in Vanuatu that when you have an issue with any services offered to you, or your service provider, there are due processes that you must follow in order to have your complaints considered.
TRR developed a Consumer Awareness and Protection Plan (CAPP) for 2014 and beyond, in 2013 to promote consumer awareness and consumer protection. The implementation of the CAPP commenced in January 2014.
A Consumer Education Program (CEP) is also being developed to ensure Vanuatu citizens are appropriately educated to guarantee an educated citizen, capable of making informed decisions.