Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

Promotion of Consumers’ Rights

The General Secretariat promotes the rights and social inclusion of consumers in the hemisphere as a way of strengthening democratic institutions and development at the hemispheric level. This strategy has been established in accordance with the Charter of the OAS and the successive mandates of the General Assembly since 2009. Among other activities, the OAS has guided and supported Member States in the development and institutionalization of the Consumer Safety and Health Network (CSHN).

Since its launch in 2010, the CSHN was consolidated as the main inter-American cooperation mechanism between competent authorities to ensure the safety of products circulating in the market. The CSHN follows an interdisciplinary approach and specializes in promoting the issue at national and hemispheric levels. As central aspect to the network, the OAS coordinated the planning, design, development and implementation of the first Inter-American Rapid Alerts System (SIAR for its acronym in Spanish) on consumer product safety (www.oas.org/rcss).  

The CSHN contributes to the protection of consumers’ rights and their social inclusion and the development of trade in goods more transparent and competitive by promoting and supporting the creation and/or strengthening of national surveillance systems in several countries; the training of hundreds of experts and authorities; the facilitation of cooperation activities among peers and the design and implementation of SIAR; in constant collaboration with major regional and global forums on the subject, such as PAHO, CARICOM, SICA, OECD, European Commission, UNCTAD, ICPHSO, among others.  

In 2014, the General Assembly adopted a formal structure of the CSHN, appointing the General Secretariat as Technical Secretariat, through the Department of Social Inclusion.  


The Department of Social Inclusion promotes the rights of consumers and fosters active cooperation among consumer authorities in the Americas and among the relevant agencies within countries, with emphasis on consumer product safety, positioning the Organization as a forum of reference in the global sphere.  

The specific objectives of the Department in this issue include:

·  Design and implement the Inter-American Rapid Alerts System (SIAR)
·  Support member states in their implementation of national systems for consumer product safety
·  Promote the creation of synergies and collaboration with other relevant fora at extra-regional and sub-regional levels: OECD, CARICOM, MERCOSUR and CONCADECO (Central), among others
·  Fulfilling the mandate to perform as Technical Secretariat of the organs of the CSHN, pursuant to resolution AG/RES. 2830 (XLIV-O/14)
·  Strengthen the networks of interagency collaboration on consumer product safety at the Member States in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)  

Link to CSHN Portal: www.oas.org/rcss