UHRP Demands the UN Global Compact Expel Genocide-Enabling Chinese Tech Companies Hikvision and Dahua
For immediate release
February 7, 2024, 11:00 a.m. EST
Contact: Omer Kanat, +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin, +1 (646) 906-7722
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls on the UN Global Compact to reject membership of two Chinese surveillance companies that play a direct role in assisting the Xinjiang government carry out its genocidal policies. The UN Global Compact is described as the “world’s largest global corporate sustainability initiative.” Member companies pledge to abide by “ten universal principles related to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.”
Yesterday, Hikvision announced that the company had joined the UN Global Compact, celebrating the step on LinkedIn as a “giant leap” for “#TechForGood.” Dahua joined in October 2023, announcing that it would “help set global standards for sustainable and responsible business practices, and actively carry out its shared responsibility to achieve a safer society and smarter living.”
“It’s incredible that the UN has accepted Dahua and Hikvision as partners. They have earned billions of dollars assisting the genocide of the Uyghur people,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “We demand that they be expelled from the UN Global Compact.”
UHRP published research briefings in October 2023 cataloging the direct assistance given by Hikvision and Dahua to the Chinese state’s atrocity crimes in East Turkistan. See: Hikvision and Dahua Facilitating Genocidal Crimes in East Turkistan.
Hikvision and Dahua have won highly lucrative contracts to provide the Xinjiang government with mass surveillance schemes targeting Uyghurs. Hikvision and Dahua camera networks have been installed in and around internment camps, schools, and mosques across the region, to track, monitor, and target Uyghurs. Police across the Uyghur region use Hikvision cameras and software as part of a surveillance and predictive policing system, the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), as revealed in a Human Rights Watch investigation by Senior Researcher Maya Wang.
“The accounts of Uyghur camp survivors are completely at odds with Hikvision’s claim that the corporation represents ‘Tech For Good’,” added Mr. Kanat. “Hikvision’s public relations push is narratives mirror that of the Chinese government towards Uyghurs: to avoid accountability by gaslighting the world.”
In an interview with IPVM, Ovalbek Turdakun instantly recognized Hikvision’s logo, when IPVM showed it to him, saying “it is the same logo” as he saw on the cameras in his cell. Turdakun told IPVM that the Hikvision cameras were used as virtual guards, stopping detainees from speaking with each other or even standing up.
As a result of their role in gross human rights abuses, Hikvision and Dahua have been sanctioned by the United States (see the UHRP Sanctions Tracker), and their cameras have been removed from government buildings in the U.K., Australia, and in buildings housing EU institutions. Calls for removal of the camera networks have been made by members of parliament in Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Bans on purchase of the equipment have also been implemented in Denmark’s Capital Region.