“Safety is a fundamental right and an essential condition for sustainable development of society. The right to safety is important for safe and secure living. The right to safety means the right to be protected against products, services and technology, which are hazardous to health or life. Without any effective regulatory mechanisms, consumers suffer the most in terms of safety.
As a consumer protection organisation, CUTS is closely involved with issues related to consumer safety and actively working on that. Feeling the need for more focused action in the area of consumer safety, in 1993, CUTS established “Safety Watch” as an independent programme at its Calcutta Centre with the mission “to achieve the citizen’s right to be protected against unsafe goods, services and environment, and to promote sustainable consumption and production and provoke questioning and action.” The stimulus behind the launch of Safety Watch was the Public Liability Insurance Act, which was enacted in 1989 to provide for compulsory liability insurance by hazardous industries. Added to this was the 1993 amendment to the Consumer Protection Act 1986, empowering consumers to file complaints against hazardous goods and seek their ban or withdrawal from the market.
To achieve the citizens’ right to be protected against unsafe goods, services and technology.
CUTS Safety Watch aims to work on safety issues to achieve the following objectives:
- To inform and educate consumers about their safety related rights through formal as well as non-formal education systems, so that they might push for improved legislations, standards and implementation on safety related matters.
- To enhance the adoption of national as well as international standards for the safety and quality of goods, services and technology.
- To encourage and build capacity of consumer organisations to carry out testing of essential consumer goods and dissemination of information.