Introduction: Main Streaming Consumer Rights

Established in 1998, Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) is a voluntary, non-profit, community-oriented national organization working for the furtherance of civil and consumer rights in the country. It seeks to empower citizens with knowledge, skills and awareness about civil rights and catalyze a transparent and efficient legal regime for the enforcement of consumer rights in Pakistan.

Choosing consumer rights as its entry point, CRCP attempts to address issues that cut across caste, creed and ethnicity. It is an attempt to lay the foundation of an organized and sustainable movement for securing and promoting consumer rights and eventually the entire gamut of political and civil rights.

Strategic Position: Encouraging Indigenous Resources

CRCP's founding members took a conscious decision to mobilize indigenous resources, both human and financial. That was deemed indispensable to ensure true community participation, a sense of ownership, credibility and last but not least, sustainability of CRCP's initiatives. At the heart of this strategy is the conviction that for a meaningful civil rights movement to take roots, people would have to own it up, nourish it and carry it forward. Founding of CRCP is a wake-up call to shake the masses out of indifference and apathy.

Pakistan has a rich history of philanthropic work, and high levels of giving in terms of time, cash and kind. However it has traditionally remained confined to the domain of charity and relief-work. The link of indigenous philanthropy with civil rights initiatives has remained underemphasized. CRCP has taken up the challenge of tapping into the spirit of volunteerism and indigenous resource base for the furtherance of civil rights through research and public action.

It is our conviction that investment in civil rights initiatives is an idea whose time has come. CRCP's formative efforts make it amply clear that it is very much possible to involve people in rights-based initiatives and channelize local resources for long-term socio-economic change. Key to this success lies in empathizing with the public, listening to them and putting their concerns high on policy agenda.

At present, CRCP generates funds for its activities through a number of ways, including membership fee, private donations, waste collection and disposal, and limited project-specific funding from some international donors. In addition, sale of its publications and handicrafts, and extending services of conducting research, survey and consultation also generate revenue for CRCP.

CRCP intends to gradually enhance the indigenous resource base to fund its programmes and projects, which would not only help CRCP to expand and consolidate, but also extend the public ownership of the initiative.

In addition to its on-going programmes and taking on new initiatives, CRCP plans to establish a Research and Training Center and a Comparative Testing Laboratory, which require a lot of commitment as well as resources-both human and financial. The aim of the research and training center is to conduct research in varied areas directly and indirectly related to the citizens and consumers, and launch programmes for training the consumers and citizens in legal arrangements, civil/consumer rights and quality issues, etc. The aim of establishing laboratory is to independently test and verify claims of various consumer goods and services such as food, water, medicines, and home appliances, etc to ensure safe and quality products and services.

How can you extend support?

You can support the initiative and contribute to the cause of consumer protection and civil rights in general by donations and voluntary work. The details are given at right menu of the various modes of contribution.

Entitlements of Members and Volunteers

By committing to donate money or waste, and/or voluntary expertise, an individual or an institution becomes a 'friend' of CRCP and hence, entitled to certain benefits such as:

  • Receipt of free information materials of CRCP
  • Free membership of CRCP information and Resource Center
  • Discount on CRCP publications and Products
  • Priority in handling of Complaints and legal guidance
  • Invitation to CRCP training programmes, seminars, and Consumer Forum, etc.
  • Technical assistance to organize consumer groups and the training them in their neighborhood and cities
  • Support in representing and highlighting local problems and issues with concerned authorities.