August 10, 2021
Professor Fraser Sampson
Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner
2 Marsham Street
1st floor, Peel
London SW1P 4DF
By email only: [email protected]
Dear Professor Sampson
Thank you for your letter outlining your mandate and how this relates to the points raised in our letter to partners. I am happy to have the opportunity to discuss this with you and I hope this will be the start of an ongoing dialogue.
You asked if we could at the outset explain whether we accept that crimes be committed against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. As a global company and manufacturer, we believe that Hikvision is not a competent arbiter to decide this issue. Moreover, it is beyond our capacity to pass judgment on this issue, particularly in a context where the debate around the Xinjiang issue is accompanied by divergent geopolitical opinions.
In answering your corporate questions, let me reiterate that Hikvision respects human rights and takes our responsibility to protect people seriously. Hikvision fully adheres to and has implemented the fundamental and operational principles set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In the company’s latest public disclosure of the environmental, social and governance report for 2020 released on April 28, 2021, the company confirmed acceptance of the investigation report by the world-renowned human rights expert. and former US Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper who has led an independent investigation into the company’s activities in Xinjiang and its respect for human rights since January 2019. In his report, Ambassador Prosper and his team concluded that “Ultimately, we do not find that Hikvision entered the five projects in Xinjiang with the intention of knowingly engaging in human rights violations or finding that Hikvision knowingly or intentionally committed human rights violations or that it has acted with willful disregard.
Over the past two years, Hikvision has taken additional steps to increase the transparency of our operations and governance. Since 2019, Hikvision has continuously published ESG reports which include more information relating to the social responsibilities of the company beyond financial data, including a specific section on our commitments on corporate governance, compliance and of human rights.
Highlights regarding our improvement in the compliance program compared to the last reporting period also include:
- Hikvision has established a global advisory board to provide management with broader information, independent expertise and suggestions.
- Hikvision’s human rights governance and compliance system has been optimized from three dimensions: product, workforce and supply chain.
- Hikvision has appointed compliance liaison officers in functional departments, companies and branches at its head office at home and abroad.
- A new Technical Ethics Board has been created to put into practice the company’s understanding of “Tech for Good”.
- Hikvision incorporated the compliance review into the APP launch process and integrated compliance management into the key control nodes of business processes, to strengthen the management and control of past risks.
- As of December 31, 2020, Hikvision has established cooperative relationships with more than 1,000 suppliers worldwide, subject to ISO 14001 environmental management system, ISO 45001 international standard for health and safety management. occupational safety (OSH) and the international social responsibility standard SA8000. .
It should also be clarified that we do not supervise or control our devices once they are passed on to installers, and we do not have access to our devices without user permission. Operational issues do not fall within our competence.
A big part of our collaboration with your predecessor was to build trust in the surveillance industry, including Secure by Default, a customer-driven and security-driven initiative. We look forward to building on this work and raising cybersecurity standards across the industry.
We are also keen to commit to the revised code that is to come. Many challenges await us, new technologies also presenting new challenges and opportunities.
It is very difficult for international companies to publicly answer precise and precise questions on paper. This usually leads to more questions and a kangaroo trial by the media. As they say, it is better to look at all the evidence and come to a verdict than to render a verdict and then look for evidence.
I’m sure there are a lot more questions resulting from our communications. So, in order to answer in more detail, we would be happy to arrange a meeting with the well-known and well-respected human rights lawyer, Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, former United States Goodwill Ambassador for the United States. war crimes, for a face-to-face meeting with you as soon as possible, to answer your questions and for him to present his findings to you.
Marketing Director – UK and Ireland